If you want a quick exercise in human nature, set out items you don’t want for collection on big trash day.

My town only offers big trash day once every three months and I usually forget it until after the fact.

Last week, I was determined to start the task of cleaning out my garage.

The city picks up my trash on Tuesdays so I called city hall to make sure there wouldn’t be an issue with me setting items out the weekend prior.

Then I texted my handyman, Tony, and told him I needed him to come over and bring his trailer.

At the top of my list of items I wanted out of my garage were a full-size mattress and box springs.

So those were the first items  out. We added several bags of trash; a kerosene heater, three electric baseboard heaters  and vacuum cleaner (all non-working); a carpet-covered cat tree and several odds and ends of clutter.

As we stacked it beside the highway, Tony told me it would be gone inside 24 hours. I thought  he was crazy.

Within an hour I noticed the first vehicle stop and a man got out.

When he noticed me watching and waving, he got back in his car and sped off.

I was just trying to let him know to take whatever he wanted.

The next morning, the pile at the highway was noticeably smaller.

As I pulled out to go to work, I saw someone had taken the cat tree, kerosene heater and baseboard heaters.

I was a little worried whoever took them would bring them back once they realized the heaters didn’t work.

The biggest surprise, though, was yet to come.

It rained enough that night that everything outside was saturated.

And the wet fog started rolling in well before dusk.

We’d gone to the grocery store after work and then stopped to get something to eat before heading home.

Bill saw it first.

“Your mattress is gone,” he said.

And not just the mattress, the box springs too. The box springs with one corner shredded by one of the cats. The set  spent months uncovered in the garage and  then 48 hours in rain at the side of the road. Gone.

I’m glad it is out of my life, but I shudder a little at anyone picking up a soggy mattress and box springs from the side of the road and taking it home.

To each their own, I suppose. But I surely don’t understand human nature.. 

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