Today at lunch, there was an elderly fellow dressed in a clean sport jacket and khaki pants who was rummaging through the McDonalds trash cans outside. My first thoughts were that he was homeless searching for food. But then I thought maybe he had accidentally tossed something away. It's something how we immediately assume somebody is homeless, because they are going through a trash can.
It ends up this man was collecting french fries and tossing them to the pigeons. The manner of his actions was like he was on a search and destroy mission. He was very direct and immediate with his searching. Almost like he does this every day. Or perhaps he realizes that the McDonalds people will yell at him.
Then more questions popped up. What would make a man go through McDonalds garbage just to feed the pigeons? Is he doing it for his love of pigeons? But he wasn't really watching the pigeons eat. Maybe he doesn't like to see food go wasted. Does he have a background in working in a restaurant where he wouldn't be afraid of handling other people's discarded food? I wanted answers.
Once he finished his reclamation mission and sat down to rest. I approached one of the garbage cans to toss out my McDonalds trash, and to break the ice I said, "No french fries in this one" tossed away my bag and laughed. He sat motionless on the bench with his mouth open with no teeth. I needed to break the ice some more, so I said, "Yeah, no sense in letting all that food go to waste." (no response from him) "Might as well feed it to the pigeons." He sat there motionless without looking at me. I began to wonder if he was deaf. Only after a few seconds of silence, he muttered softly, "It ain't no big deal."
Too bad I didn't have my camera.