My first car was a VW Baja Beetle. This is the only picture I have of it.
I was into my artsy photography phase when I took this picture, but all I had was a 110 camera, so I used black and white film and that made me feel bohemian enough. And yes, that sun roof is basically held in place by gravity. It remained in that state of disrepair until the day when it flew off the top of my car on I-15 at 1am after a night of dancing at the Ritz. Like a fool, I ran out onto the freeway to retrieve it. From that moment on, I had a garbage bag duct tapped to the top of the car.
During that time, I had an experience with a garbage truck that has been seared into my memory. I was driving behind the garbage truck on 201 heading west. It was the kind that scrunches up the garbage and supposedly counts as a covered load because the scruncher holds the garbage in place. It was spewing garbage out the back, littering its contents all over the freeway. We passed a sign stating, “Fine for Littering $250,” and at that moment, a loaded diaper bomb hit my windshield.
After that incident, I littered whenever there was garbage that needed disposal. I’d uncrank the window, and toss the garbage out of my car without a shred of guilt. If big old garbage trucks were allowed to plant diaper bombs on my windshield, then I had no qualms about tossing a Big Gulp cup out the window once it was empty.
The way the wind almost took the garbage out of my hand when I opened the window seemed to validate my actions. It was as if the outside WANTED my litter because it sucked it out of the car like a vacuum.
I called it The Infinite Capacity Suction Powered Garbage Disposal Unit.
One day, however, I was driving with Stacey and Angie. Without a thought, I fed the Infinite Capacity Suction Powered Garbage Disposal Unit my empty cup and candy wrapper. I may have even passed out the garbage from Stacey and Angie’s snacks. We were listening to music on the ghetto blaster sitting on my open glove box (I didn’t have a car stereo) and laughing at something funny.
When we stopped at the red light, a woman in the car next to us screamed one sentence at me that has stuck to this day:
Do you think you can just use the world as your garbage can?!
I was mortified, but tried to act cool. I think I laughed and said yes and she argued with me a bit more before her husband pulled away as the light changed to green.
I have never forgotten that woman to this day and the Infinite Capacity Suction Powered Garbage Disposal Unit has never been used since.