Homeless in Vancouver: Fast cars and peanut butter

Old-school binners have a nomenclature all their own; they often loosely refer to anything they find on or beside garbage or recycling bins as “tips”.

On my way to bed last night I was lucky enough to pick up a few such things deliberately left where us binners could find them: a coffee cake, Belgian chocolate cookies, and the prize of prizes—peanut butter-filled pretzel squares!

I love these—I used to buy a bag of them almost every day at London Drugs, until the store stopped selling them.

What some nice people put beside their apartment Dumpster last night wasn’t a bag, but a plastic tub—nearly full. Thank you nice people! High point of my evening.

I offered a friend the chance to try one; he skeptically popped one into his mouth.

I had to snatch the tub out of his reach when he then tried for a handful. They’re that good.

Why is there a car in my bedroom?

While I getting ready for bed, enjoying a coffee and my crunchy peanut buttery snack, I couldn’t help but admire the car that has been sharing my parkade overnight for over a week.

It’s a nice-looking car—I thought so from the moment I first saw it—a Mazda-something. Maybe a Miata. It’s a sporty little thing that’s for sure.

Other workers in this building occasionally leave their cars parked overnight, some for days at a time, but none have been as attractive as this one. I’ve grown fond of it and I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

Comments (3) Add New Comment
Hi Stanley.
I enjoy reading your posts.And am happy you have a safe and warm shelter.
Please ask your friends/binners to stop hustling me on the street. Walking up to me and begging for cash is not acceptable. There is one tall guy who is always in the W.Broadway area who is especially aggressive . Is that the same one under the sleeping bag with an invisible tag pinned to it? I wonder.
Big , tall grown ass men have no business asking me and and my girlfriends for money. I have overheard him compare with his friends the amt of cash they receive from begging. It's a manipulative game they play.
Rating: +1
Alan Layton
More stories about binning please. I'm sure you have some good ones. The parkade should probably pay you for guarding the cars.

Rating: +1
Stanley Q Woodvine
@ Tx

I leave South Granville's panhandler's to their miserable drug-addicted lives; as do most binners.

Binners and panhandlers are different species of homeless. While some binners may try panhandling over Christmas many/most binners are a bit contemptuous of people who beg professionally.

Apparently you can support alcoholism on a binner's income but heavy heroin and crack cocaine habits almost always require panhandling which is much, much, more lucrative than binning for bottles and cans.

From a purely return on investment point of view panhandling is better business than binning.

But panhandling is a fundamentally lazy, underhanded con which preys on people's sympathies.

Consider gently correcting their aggressive behavior with a frying pan or short length of steel pipe, whatever is easiest to carry.
Rating: -1
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