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Lars Eighner devoted chapter seven to discussing dumpster diving.
Although he would rather spend a "comfortable consumer life," he nevertheless learned a lot from being a scavenger which he discusses in the rest of the chapter. He says that in evaluating food, one must ask the question, "Why was this discarded?
" He talks about the various diseases such as "botulism"that can arise from stale food and ways to avoid it such as avoid eating from "dented" or "bulging" cans.
“It is a pointless circular rambling about the stage that can be brought to happy conclusion only by a deus ex machina.”His account of his experience is anything but circular or pointless.
It is not a dirge or a Bukowski-like scratching of the groin but an offbeat and plaintive hymn to life.
From being a person with low self-esteem, the scavenger gains confidence as he encount ...
Essays On Dumpster Diving Lars Eighner
The worst thing about being homeless, Lars Eighner writes in his memoir “Travels With Lizbeth” (1993), is not eating from Dumpsters or being rousted by police or attacked while sleeping by fire ants or jeered at by those who find you contemptible. Eighner spent three years on the streets (mostly in Austin, Tex.) and on the road in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the book he wrote about that time is a literate and exceedingly humane document.“Travels With Lizbeth” contains the finest first-person writing we have about the experience of being homeless in America.Used copies of books that are out of print are available from various online retailers and libraries. In Lars Eighner’s short essay “On Dumpster Diving”, he describes his experience of being homeless and the art of dumpster driving.Because he slept under the stars, he decided to learn about them.He did not obtain a college degree but is the sort of fellow who can drop French phrases into his writing without sounding la-di-da.Dry foods, slightly dented fruits and hard candy are edible according to him.He goes on to talk about how he used to loiter around a dumpster outside a pizza delivery store and eat those pizzas which were either left overs, discarded because they were cold, baked imperfectly or the wrong order was given.Eighner maintains a bitter running critique of the city’s welfare services, however.He spies “a general contempt for the poor” in their uselessness.It’s the sort of book that releases the emergency brake on your soul.Eighner became homeless, in his late 30s, the way a sinkhole devours a pickup truck: slowly, then all at once. “Being suddenly intoxicated in a public place in the early afternoon,” he writes, “is not my idea of a good time.”He has an acquisitive mind.