Every so often, I decide to pack my own lunch to save a few bucks and cut a few calories.
Last Tuesday, I made myself a chicken sandwich and a cup of soup, tossed it in a plastic Jewel bag, tied the sack handles in a tight bow and headed Downtown.
But my lunch didn’t make it to the office. That happens a lot. I figured I left it on the kitchen table like I have done before. But when I got home it wasn’t there. I searched the back room, bathroom and the garage, but it didn't turn up.
And it wasn’t until I was backing the car out of the garage the next morning that I realized what happened.
I woke up earlier than usual Tuesday, made breakfast, read the news, packed the lunch, cleaned up the kitchen a bit and took out the trash before I headed off to work.
I threw the car in park, rushed to the alley can and flipped open the lid to find my lost lunch mingled with a bag of rotten produce and 10 pounds of used cat litter.
Oh, what to do? I remembered that "Seinfeld" episode when George Costanza plucked an eclair from the trash and ate it.
"Was it in the trash?" Jerry asked.
"Yes," George said.
"Then it's trash," Jerry said.
But this was different. A Ziploc bag protected my chicken sandwich.
The Campbell's Soup cup was factory-sealed, and the Jewel bag was tied up tight.
Overnight, temperatures dipped into the 30s, so the trash can was colder than my refrigerator.
And, let’s face it, I’m not a guy who lets a perfectly good sandwich go to waste.
So I didn't.
I leaned into that disgusting garbage bin, pulled out my adequately sealed, properly refrigerated lunch and headed Downtown.
When I got to work and confessed my plans to eat a lunch stored overnight atop a trash bag filled with dirty kitty litter inside an alley can, everyone in the newsroom laughed at me.
I ate the sandwich anyway — and it didn’t taste like cat poop one bit.
But you can bet the next time I pack a lunch to save a few bucks and cut a few calories it won't be on trash day.