Monday, April 26, 2010

The Great Apartment Complex Toy Purge

The lawns that surround our apartment complex are littered with barbecue grills, bikes, and outdoor toys. I mean "littered" in the sense that these items are strewn about in a not entirely orderly fashion, not that the things themselves are trash.

Except actually, some of the things ARE trash. But nobody ever throws anything away on the off chance that it still belongs to someone. I don't want my neighbor getting mad at me for throwing out his rusted-through barbecue even though it's been there for so long it's half sunk into the grass (see above).

That's why I was so excited to receive a notice from the property managers that next week, they will be doing a purge of the apartment lawns. Any item that does not have a tag (which you can obtain in advance from the office) will be thrown away. HALLELUJAH. Now it's like a super suspenseful waiting game to see what will get tagged and what will not. I'm rooting for some of the toys to stay, even though they're not mine, because they are awesome and my kids play with them all the time. Others, if they do get tagged, I might just have to sneak out in the night and remove the tag so they are thrown away ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Let's take a look. First of all, the way you know this purge needs to happen is when you see one of the bike racks and it looks like this:


And I don't mind granting amnesty to toys like this one:

or this one:

But this one - decrepit no-seat trike with pole sticking out of it -

and this one - rusted metal pogo stick -

can just die already.

Then there's this purple trike, which I think every kid in the neighborhood has fallen off of, given the fact that it is somehow fundamentally unbalanced (how fitting that when I found it it was tipped over):

I think we'll all be saying farewell soon to this forlorn, abandoned Sponge Bob ball:

I know the tagging system applies to bikes:

but there's no word yet on whether it will extend to cars. I wish it could. This van has never moved from this spot since we've lived here:

How do I know this? Because by the end of winter it had approximately 15 feet of snow on top of it. Busted. (Another clue is that in the pictures of this complex on the property manager's website, taken who knows how long ago, The Van is in that same spot.)

This car has seen better days and I wish it would just leave:

All of us moms hate this outdoor kitchen:

I think we all realize that sooner or later, one of our kids will contract hantavirus from playing in the stagnant, reeking water that collects in it.

Magdalena will be sad to see this "stroller" go:

I use quotation marks because this thing is a stroller in name only. It's really just a heap of rotting fabric and skewed, rusty metal bars on wheels at this point.

I'll be sure to update you on what stayed and what got purged when the time comes! Maybe I should take guesses on whether or not this Virgin Mary statue will remain.
My bet is that it stays. No one's THAT heartless.


Merkley Jiating said...

How has that ball not been thrown away yet?!

Liz Johnson said...

Yeah, nobody will throw the Virgin Mary in the trash. It's like asking for your complex to get hit by lightning.

We have this same issue. I LOVE IT when all the crappy stuff is gone!

Fromagette said...

What's funny is we have the play kitchen in our yard. The former tenant of our house left it for us. It does collect some water, but not enough that it makes it hard to bake mud pies.

I hope you get to keep everything you like! (In fact, you may want to get some tags yourself and go around the night before claiming the toys you like that aren't claimed yet.)

Jen said...

"Yeah, nobody will throw the Virgin Mary in the trash. It's like asking for your complex to get hit by lightning."

...says the girl at Notre Dame.

Liz Johnson said...

HA, Jen. :) I've also started crossing myself when I see cemeteries or markers of people who have been killed in auto accidents. I figure at best, they/God appreciate my thinking of them, at worst, God finds it mildly amusing. But I feel worse just driving past them without doing anything!

I figure I'm about 1/16th Catholic, and that has been entirely by osmosis. And I like it.

Jen said...

Right on, Liz.

....and living in massachusetts must be responsible for my 1/16.

Solidarity, sister.

Bridget said...

I need to thank Jeremy for helping me with this post. I kept thinking I'd gotten photos of everything and then he'd remind me of the rusted-out barbecue, or Virgin Mary. Thanks, Jeremy!

The Ensign's said...

Oh my heck! I can't believe how much junk is out there. For your sake and anyone else that has to look at it I hope all the rotting items go.

B-Rad said...

Some of the cars in the complex are absolutely ridiculous. Have you seen the "cannibalized" Saab that one of our neighbors uses for parts for their other Saab? That's a good picture. Thanks for the post. You gave me a good laugh.

Lilianne said...

That bike rack MUST be a joke! Seriously, that's nuts! I hope you'll be living in a cleaner place soon! ;) I say that if the things you do like to play with don't get tagged, YOU should just tag them because they are actually useful and fun! Do it.

It'll be fun to see the update!

Burke family said...

You are too funny! I loved this post!

Trina said...

I'd forgotten about Mary. The purple tryke is sad, but Allison loves it. Without a hill, I think it works okay.

I loved your post and all the pictures. Awesome! It looks like you braved the rain at some point today!

Trina said...

By the way, the picture with the van in it, is from before they re-did the flower garden. So I think the van has been here as long or longer than me too.

Jeremy Palmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy Palmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bridget said...

Yes, thank you, Jeremy. You gave me the idea!

robin said...

this is, quite possibly, the best post i've ever read.


but you'd best believe i'll be out there tagging those little bikes that ollie loves to run with down the hill at the risk of his own teeth.

JosephJ said...

Funny how careless people are with their junk. Now time for a confession.

In 2002, my aunt bought me a junk bike at a yard sale for 5 bucks for use at BYU. I always meant to fix it up. It sat at the bike rack at my bachelor pad for 3 years until I wandered by and saw it still there in its dilapidated state. I wheeled it over to my apartment (our fourth after being married) and stowed it outside under the stairs. Two years later, I graduated and moved away.

Fast forward to THIS year, having not even LIVED at that apartment for 3 years, and whaddya know? The junk bike is still there, hangin' around under the stairs. Eight years of non-use and noone can throw it away.

So next time I'm in Provo, should I get the bike and toss it in the dumpster, or do you think someone would call the cops on me for waltzing over to a place I don't live and heaving "someone's" bike into a dumpster?

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Now that I'm here onsite in Ithaca and have seen some of that junk w/ my own eyes, it seems the complex is going to have to bring in a really really big dumpster to handle it all. A van-size dumpster would be nice, to handle that decrepit rusting mini-van.

Teresa Jane said...

My favorite is the trike with no seat... I laughed forever about that. What's with the pole???

Kristen said...

Found this very amusing. Glad the complex is making an effort to beautify! My favorite is the "stroller." And we have a trike with a pole on the back--it's for the parent to push the non-pedaling child, and it's very handy actually! (If the trike has a seat anyway.)


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