When you live on a block filled with small buildings that contain rental units, you have to deal with a few peculiarities. We had the lady across from us who through over use of drugs and alcohol, believed that aliens were landing down on the corner. There was the man three doors down, who committed suicide with a pistol to the head on a lovely, sunny summer morning. And then there was the couple who lived across the street from us. They sold newspapers on busy street corners in Fort Lauderdale. What was so unusual about this couple was that the woman was a dwarf, a very short dwarf. Her boyfriend/husband was a six foot tall hippie with long hair and a beard, and from what others on the block have told me, he was regularly beaten by the woman. I just hope he was smart enough to wear a cup. I didn't like them because they always brought home groceries and other found goods in supermarket shopping carts. At one time we had three Publix shopping carts sitting out on our street giving it the look of a homeless encampment. The hippie dwarf combo moved away some years ago, and that along with the local supermarket installing anti-theft devices on their shopping carts, solved the stray cart problem.
Last week I was walking the dogs and I noticed, after years of no carts, the reappearance of a shopping cart across the street from our house. One lone cart sitting at the edge of the road. One homeless person's moving van, defiling our humble street. It did not come from the supermarket close by, nor the drug store. It was an interloper from nearly a mile away that some asshole had carted their groceries home in, and then abandoned. So being a good neighbor I called the store in question and spoke to an "assistant manager". I know that shopping carts cost about $150 each, so I felt the store might want it back. I advised the assistant manager that one of his carts was sitting deserted across the street from my house. I gave him the address and told him exactly where to find it. He assured me that they would come by to claim it shortly. That was last Friday. Today is Wednesday, and the shopping cart is still sitting there, or I should say was still sitting there when I walked the dogs this morning. You see, besides being Wednesday it is also bulk garbage pickup day on our street, and I had a very large pile of tree branches to be picked up... along with a shopping cart buried underneath them.