Wednesday
Dec232009

« Inconspicuous Consumption »

shot from the inside of the work truck, aimed at the mirror to capture a man walking from dumpsters he just rummaged through behind a restaurantHillcrest area of San DiegoA couple days before the Christmas feast season I found this man making the rounds in the alley behind one of the restaurants I service. This picture was a little late for what I hoped to capture. When I found him he was hunched over the edge of the dumpster behind the restaurant, stuffing himself of whatever he could reach. He was so far gone that he didn't even flinch when upon my departure I offered him a bagged loaf of bread that was tossed out while I made my delivery. He just grumbled and went on his way.

This is a study in paradigm extremes because the restaurant in question makes its reputation on serving portions so huge that you can feed two in a party or take half of it home, or perhaps leave plenty for guys like this to come and do a second harvest. The restaurant glorifies completely conspicuous consumption. But there is another reality out there. I see it daily, really. But I don't always get the camera in time to show the inconspicuous consumption that goes on right beneath our noses.

Actually, I'd like to voice more concern than that. I find this one restaurant actually offends me. Not just because they heave some food out. Every restaurant does that. But this place uses such mass quantities of some stuff that could be recycled and composted—egg shells and cartons mainly, but certainly veggie waste too. They throw out plastic milk crates. Yep, in the garbage bin. And the kicker? One day recently I made a delivery on a rainy day. Stormy rain with everything soaked. They had a guy out there sweeping the back lot, but he was doing it with the help of a garden hose shooting more water at the pavement!

race for the hungry, parade traffic notice signI guess there's nothing like an overt display of caloric consumption to help those who have too few calories to consume in the first place!

Man oh man, we're doomed. Happy New Year.

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