Strewn Food Update

The morning after I posted about the strewn food mystery, things ratcheted to a new level; I saw Strewn Food Man in the act and decided to walk by and ask him about it.

“So, feeding the birds?” I asked.

“Yup; and the squirrels and the chipmunks and the groundhogs. I’ve seem ’em all.” He said, while continuing to throw food in the grass.

“Ah,” I said, but what I really should have said was, “Do squirrels eat ribs?”

The next day the variety and quantity of food had increased, if that was possible. And today? Even the bulldog was incredulous.

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Mystery of the Strewn Food

I sometimes walk the dog around the back of an apartment building a block or so from my house. I noticed at one point that there was food thrown across the grass at the corner of the building, next to the parking lot. Ew, I thought, and steered the dog around it. I didn’t think twice about it, and neither did the dog. That stretch of grass would have been completely off limits from then on had I been walking the beagle, but I digress.

I started noticing it was a trend, and I sort of wanted to see where this was going. I went by there again and again, and new and stranger foods started showing up. Corn cobs. Cut-up fruit. Plastic take-out containers full of ribs. RIBS. Plastic take-out lids full of LIQUIDS. Cereal. Torn-up bread. At first I was confused, and then I started getting angry. When I saw spaghetti thrown all over, that’s when the crazy became contagious and I started yelling things when I walked by. “Oh, SPAGHETTI today, huh? Yum!” “Ah, Froot Loops and melon and yellow baby tomatoes; it all makes sense now!” Whyyyyy? And then over the course of the last month or so I took photos.

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I nearly recruited a full-blown investigational team after casually bringing it up in the work kitchen — everyone wanted to know what the food was about. Theories multiplied: Was it someone who really wanted to compost but didn’t know the first thing about it? Someone in an altered state of mind getting half way through a meal and ditching it? Someone whose spouse packed a lunch for him or her and they didn’t want to get caught not eating it? Someone feeding the birds? We thought we’d make a day of it, bring a cooler of beers, and interview the residents of the apartment building.

I got a little closer to my answer when I saw an older guy at his car, parked right next to the strewn-food location, sorting through a trunk FULL of recyclables. But it wasn’t until last week when one morning I had my visual confirmation. I rounded the corner with the dog and this guy walked past his car with a plastic cup and chucked its contents — a bunch of torn-up bread — into the grass. I watched; he saw me; we made eye contact; he waved.

I guess this dude just hates throwing things in the trash.

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