The summer heat had begun to fuse the crevices of my brain together. Each day was hotter than the next and let me tell you, putting up a fence in that kind of heat sucks. The lines of the links began create some kind of hallucinogenic wave and I really began to question my stamina for this job. Evidently, some kids had been riding their bikes off of a ledge that was about 15-feet off the ground behind this shopping mall. We were hired to put up a fence to keep the daring set from hurting themselves. Well, at least to keep the threat of a law suit to a minimum.
For three days we had been digging posts, stretching fence, and making the whole thing look just right. Now, at the end of my sanity and right behind a large box-sporting-goods-store, we were finishing up. The early evening sun was absent of life. It hung there with an oppression that took my will right away. As I looked around to make sure we were cleaned up and ready to go an oasis appeared before my eyes. Behind the sporting goods store, employees marched like ants towards a dumpster. Each was carrying two golf bags which were still wrapped in plastic. One by one to the count of ten they tossed them into the bin and dutifully walked back into the store. With the slamming of the door, they were gone.
Now, I don’t golf, but I know people like their bags. I’ve seen enough Storage Wars to know there is money out there to be made on stuff people don’t want.
“Yo, fellas, let’s get those bags and try to sell them,” I said to the crew.
There was some discussion as to the legality of taking the bags from the trash and ultimately, the guys were too tired to be bothered. I decided that I would come back after dark and get the bounty that rested in the rough.
Later that night, after the stores had closed, I went back to scene to see if the bags were still there. Sure enough, there were ten perfect golf bags still wrapped in plastic for the taking. I began loading them into my work van without paying any attention to the rest of the world. All I knew was that I was going to make some money. The mall security guard passed by and the lights on his little car were like fireworks celebrating my find. One last bag, a quick dust off, and I was on my way.
But this was only the beginning of my golfing nightmare.
About five miles down the round the fireworks went off again. Only this time, it was the state police. Maybe I was speeding, but when the officer asked me “to get out of the vehicle,” I knew something was up. The criminal checklist went off. Drinking? Nope. Drugs? Don’t do them. Rent? Paid. No fights, no accidents, what could it be? All I knew was that I needed to be polite, because if nothing else, police officers are a serious sort who must always be ready for the unexpected danger.
“Sir, could you open up your van?” the officer asked with the same oppressive air as the evening sun.
I opened it up and there were all my tools and the golf bags.
I’m not really sure how the rest of it went down. I know I pled my innocence, but somehow I still ended up in the back of the police car. Once we got to the station, I sat for hours before another solemn sounding officer took my statement. He said he would have to check my story in the morning and that I would have to stay with them until everything was worked out. Thankfully it would be Saturday and I was off. Then, in a move inspired by The Wire, I asked if the officers would be kind enough to get me something to eat. I guess that’s only for murders and television because I got nothing.
At 10:00 the next morning, another dower public servant entered the room. He explained that the store manager had confirmed that the bags had been thrown away. Since I had not committed a crime, I was free to go.
As I was leaving the suddenly perky policeman asked, “How much do you want for a bag?”
I thought for a moment about a fair price. “If you’ll smile, I’ll give it to you for free.”
He must not have thought it funny. I took all ten bags to the New Castle Farmer’s Market and drove away $500 dollars richer.