A couple of months ago, my wife, boy and I took a trip out to Calabasas. The wife needed a few books from Barnes and Noble and Calabasas is one of the last places on Earth to house a B and N.
On the way back from the bookstore we pass an In-N-Out Burger. The boy suggests we do lunch there. We pull in, drive around back and park. The wife and boy walk up a little hill and grab a table. I order, wait and bring the food over.
Halfway through the meal I saw a guy speed into the parking lot, park, jump out and come storming over to the eating area. He was in such a hurry that he didn’t even close his door. He rushes up the steps and stops at the first trash can. He yanks the top off of the trash can, places it on a nearby table. He combs through the receptacle a bit. I leaned over to my wife and said, “I think this guy lost his keys or something.”
After rummaging around for a minute or two the guy pulled out a box. It was the standard In-N-Out box that you get when going through the drive-through. He grabbed the box and started to fill it with every bit of food in the trash, fries, and partial burgers – filled to the top.
The box guy went to the next trash can and repeated his search. Open the lid of the trash can, rummage around, pull out a box – and then fill it.
When the guy opened the first can I honestly thought he had lost something. So, I watched, hoping he found his keys or valuables, but when he pulled out a heaping box of burgers and fries, I was surprised. I wanted to continue watching, but I didn’t want to stare.
Within less than five minutes he had gone through four trash cans and had, roughly, ten pounds of food divided amongst four boxes. And as quick as he arrived, he left. All four boxes placed on his passenger seat. He slammed the car into reverse and he was back out onto Ventura Boulevard.
He may have been destitute or possibly a little off-balanced. But on first glance, he seemed to be a regular guy coming to buy a burger. I was a little surprised at the boldness of his food collection. I see people rummaging all the time, they seem a little sheepish. Avoiding eye-contact, collecting in the corner. This guy didn’t care, rushed in, collected and burned out.