Dumpster Diving For Donuts—One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

My friends think I’m weird because I like to eat out of the trash. Dumpsters to be exact. “The bigger the better,” I say.

How is this okay?

Because I’m dumpster diving for donuts. The saying hold’s true, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Or next meal in this case.

Okay, okay, I haven’t done this in almost 2 years(19 months actually) but desperate times called for desperate measures. Let me set the scene: I was on tour with my band a few years back and we began to hear fables of the glorious place they called Dunkin Donuts. Now, we have those in Oklahoma, don’t get me wrong, but these stories we heard always had one thing in common: closing time. And closing time meant “time to clean out the day’s supply of leftover donuts, separated them into clean trash bags (don’t tell me unused trash bags aren’t clean) and toss them in the dumpster out back.”

When hunger strikes a touring musician and there’s a Dunkin Donuts close by it sounds a lot like open season. So obviously I’ve got stories which I won’t withhold should you choose to ask me about it some time. Keywords are “dumpster diving, raccoon, cops, and get-away car.” It’ll be a good time.

xx man donuts

I won’t try to justify dumpster diving for donuts as a healthy meal plan but it does feel good to know you’ve scored something of value (to some) for free. Sometimes we had to drive around and hit 5 other shops before we hit a gold mine. And when we did…let me tell you: there’s nothing like waking up in the crisp morning air to smell of dozens of free breakfast goodies.

Here you are all snug and cozy in your sleeping bag, sprawled out across random band equipment, inside your trailer, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, in south Chicago, in February. You reach down and dig through the mess of jelly, glazed, long johns, cake, Bavarian cream even bear claws all in search of—where is it? Ahhh…the last apple fritter. Where else would you rather be?

Now any other red-blooded american might be ashamed to admit they dug through piles of napkins, coffee cups and other garbage to snack on day-old junk food but I believe there’s a silver lining here.

When an opportunity presents itself that you just can’t pass up you’ll do anything it takes to make it happen right? Even if you have try it 5 or 6 times, sifting through “garbage” to get what you need, it ultimately comes down to how bad you want it. There came a time in my life when I realized I needed to make a change and I did everything I could to achieve it. Today I’m able to walk forward with a clear conscience because of it.

All this to say, when life gives you something you can’t pass up, especially if you’re dumpster diving for donuts, take advantage of the opportunity and do what you must to reach your goals.



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