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Free Bricks! 


Why I hate going to the dump..
By Ron


We purchased a house in Cheyenne, Wyoming back in 1993.  It was a pretty fair house as houses go.  The only real problem was that the people that lived there before had an apparent illegal brick cleaning operation going on in the back yard.  They had this huge pile of bricks covered up with a tarp so that when we ran through looking at it to buy they pretty much went unnoticed until we moved in.  I’m not sure why they had the bricks covered up.  After all they were bricks.  The weather wouldn’t affect them.  They weren’t going to run off or anything.  Anyway after we moved in I looked around the yard and house trying to figure out where I could use such a windfall.  The house already had a huge patio and they paths around the house were already done with bricks so nothing came to mind.  I decided to place an ad in the local newspaper.    

The ad read, “Free to a good home, 1,200 red bricks, U-haul”.

I thought that was kinda cute so I placed the ad in both the construction materials for sale and in the miscellaneous sections.  I placed it in the miscellaneous sections because I was thinking that sometimes you might not know you need 1,200 red bricks until you see that they are free.  Apparently I was wrong.  The ad ran for two weeks and there weren’t any takers.  One guy called to ask if I had 10,000 red bricks.  I guess he thought I was holding out on him or something.  So disappointed when I said I only had the 1,200 he hung up on me.  Without anyone to take em off my hands I was going to do the only humane thing I could think of.  I was going to load them up into my pick-up and take them to the dump.  I called the landfill to ask directions and to inquire if they would take bricks.  The gentleman at the dump assured me that yes indeed they would take them off my hands.

Before I could load them into my truck I would have to trim up a couple of trees. Taking out my handy dandy chainsaw (every homeowner should have one…you’ll never know when you might want to trim some limb or “open up” a couple of rooms…but that’s another story) As I trimmed up the limbs I would toss them into the bed of my truck.  Making my way through the mini jungle with the least amount of damage to the trees as possible. Once the trimming was completed I backed the truck up to the pile of bricks and proceeded to toss em into the back of my truck.  After I had done about half of them it was dawning on me why no one wanted them even if they were free.  It was a lot of work loading up 600 bricks much less the whole 1,200.  I should have charged some of the people that join health clubs to load the bricks up for me.  I could see the add in my mind (probably because my brain wasn’t getting any oxygen it’s over 6000 feet above sea level in Cheyenne and the air is mighty thin)  New aerobics class is forming in downtown Cheyenne..$100 per class. personal instructor. Call XXX-XXXX.”  I figured only the one class would have been necessary cause like I said it’s a lot of work loading bricks into the back of a truck by hand. 

When I was almost done a new neighbor wandered over to ask the obvious an annoying questions neighbors tend to ask.

Neighbor:  What ya doin’?

Me:  Loading these bricks into my truck.

Neighbor: What for?

Me:  So I can take em to the dump.

Neighbor:  you don’t want them?

Me: ummm no.

Neighbor: You should put an ad in the paper.

Me:  I did already.

Neighbor:  Well you should give em away instead of taking them to the dump.

Me:  I tried that in the ad.

Neighbor: Oh…(scratching various and sundry parts of his anatomy)

Me: Do you want them?

Neighbor: No thank you.

Neighbor:  Ya better put a tarp on em.

Me:  A tarp?

Neighbor:  Yup..

Me:  Why?

Neighbor: Well they’ll charge you extra at the dump ifn’ you don’t.

Me:  for bricks?

Neighbor yup..  (Wandering off, his hand down the back of his jeans scratching his arse for all he’s worth)


Taking the neighbors advice I covered up the bricks and limbs and headed happily off toward the dump.  The City of Cheyenne’s dump is way off in the middle of nowhere Wyoming.  Before you can take your stuff and dump it you have to see this guy that’s in this little dumpy shack.  I think his only job is to annoy the homeowners that come out to the dump and to check the wind speed.   So I go into this little shack and tell the guy that I had some stuff I needed to dump at the dump.  He asked me what I had and when I told him I had some tree limbs and some bricks. He looked at me kinda funny and proceeded to get out of his chair.  Apparently I looked like the type that might not tell the truth at the dump and try and sneak some stuff into the landfill that would make it look trashy or something.  So he went out to check what I had in the back of my truck.  As we were walking out to my truck I was secretly wishing that he had said he wanted to check it before we went out because I was never really any good at tying knots.  My general way of tying things down is to have the sheer weight of the square knot kinda hold it in place.  This time was no exception to the rule.  In the back right hand corner of the bed of my truck was this huge 12-pound knot of rope designed to hold the tarp in place.  The guy walked up to the knot and poked it with a pen a couple of times and asked me “what’s this”?  Probably thinking I had concealed a body in this huge tangle of rope.  I said…well ummm it’s a knot…He looked over at me still poking at the knot with a pen half expecting to hear a muffled cry for help. And asked “a knot? A knot of what”?  Sheepishly I said “a knot of rope, to hold down the tarp”.   He looked at me like an Eagle Scout might look down at a Cub Scout and asked me to open up the tarp so he could look around.  Taking my pocketknife from my pocket (when you tie knots like I do you always keep a sharp knife handy) I sliced open the knot and pulled back the tarp.  The dump guy looked in and said okay and started to wander back to the shack with his hand down the back of his jeans scratching his bums…(I was beginning to wonder if that was a Wyoming pastime) Once inside the sack he said that he’d need to see my water bill and that he’d let me be on my way. 

Water bill?  Water bill?  There was no mention of a steenking water bill on the phone when I called to ask directions.   He looked up from the wind gage he’d been studying.  And said with a smirk that he figured that I’d known I would need a water bill before I could dump anything.  Ummm I didn’t know where the dump was but you figured I’d know I needed the water bill?  I said. 

Smirking he said yup..

Turning on my heels I told him I would be back with a water bill ASAP and ran out to my truck for the 20-mile drive back to town to fetch a water bill.   Cursing under my breath as I re-entered the trash shack I handed the gentleman my water bill.   Glancing at my water bill and back up at me he handed the bill back to me he said all was in order but couldn’t dump anything now because the winds blowing to hard?

The wind is blowing to hard for me to dump tree limbs and bricks off?  I asked.

Yup with a smirk was his response and he turned back to the wind gage…

Stomping back to my truck I sat there seething and watched as three city sanitation trucks roll past the trash shack and up to the real dumping area to dump their loads which promptly started blowing around the tri state region.  Sitting there in my truck in total disbelief for a few seconds before I drove my bricks the twenty miles back to town…

To keep from going back out to the dump I snuck ten or fifteen bricks into my trash for the next three years.  I also gave them away as “gag” gifts.  When I print out this little essay I’ll place the pages under the last brick to keep them from blowing around my little room.



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