Posted by: Michelle Mitton | May 12, 2008

If You Really Love Me Take Me to the Dump

The Anchorage LandfillLast weekend was the first weekend in May and do you know what that means? The Anchorage Landfill (that’s the pretty word for THE DUMP) opens it’s doors, or it’s bulldozers, or whatever free of charge to encourage good citizens across town to clean up their homes and yards by taking their trash to a new place paid for by tax dollars.

Now I’m going to stick my neck out here a bit and admit something that I don’t think I’ve ever told another living soul: I LOVE THE DUMP! I don’t know what it is but I just love, love, love that place. Well, actually now that I think about it I do know why I love it and maybe I can convince you to love it as much as I do . . . or at least explain it enough that you don’t write me off completely.

I think it’s all about the timing. Once spring arrives I’m so absolutely crazed with cabin fever that getting out of the house and doing some dusting, raking, bagging and dumping is really, really fun. I’m even happy to bag up moose pellets it’s that bad. In fall? Not so much, it’s just irritating but in spring it’s all about the hope. Hope that the summer is going to be super fun and super hot. I did said hope people. The chances of an actual, bona fide, super hot summer in Anchorage aren’t so good–unless 75 degrees qualifies as super hot. But I’m always hopeful in May and that makes me cheerful.

Then it always pleases me to clean things up. Getting rid of the trash that has been clunking up our garage all winter and setting things in order by making a trip to the Dump is just a “woo hoo” experience. Yes, apparently I live a quiet life with few thrills. Maybe we need cable.

The kids always want to go with me when I’m going to the Dump because they love it as much as I do. I back up the truck to the covered platform then I climb into the bed of the truck and with a mighty superwoman heave (and maybe a grunt or two for emphasis) I shove our trash off the truck bed and down into the pit below where bulldozers are waiting to scoop it up. It’s especially fun if I have some really smashing junk to dump–like maybe an old television set or something involving glass. It’s just a blast to throw an old microwave off the back and see it go crashing, splintering and busting up all the way down to the concrete below. Or an old window or a broken dishwasher. I take out a winter’s worth of aggressions that way–while satisfying the suppressed vandal in me.

And then there’s the smell. I LOVE the Dump smell and I really couldn’t say why because last time I checked the rotten, festering, rancid smells that normally accompany decay and ruin aren’t so good. Maybe “love” isn’t the right word–I mean you don’t see Elizabeth Arden bottling that one do you? Can’t you just imagine the slogan? “Eau de Dump–for those times when you want to attract the men and the flies.” I suppose I mean that I’m fascinated by how bad the smell is.

When I get out of the car to unload I usually sniff the air carefully a couple of times because the stench is hypnotic–I just can’t help but sniff. Kind of like when you sniff a carton of milk to see if it’s gone bad even though the expiration date says 1975? You know it’s going to reek but you just can’t keep from sniffing anyway. That’s the Dump effect–you can’t help but sniff just to see how bad it really is.

But despite the smell of dirt and grime the Dump smell means clean to me. A clean garage and a clean yard and hopefully a more organized presence in my home and life. I love it and every year I make the trip with a spring in my step–if you ever make it up to Anchorage give me a call and we can go throw stuff off the back of my truck together.

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