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Dawn of the Dead
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I know a lot of us are curbside pickers. I've certainly been on the look out for raw materials for various props. But here's a story to make you think twice about some of the stuff you grab. My Dad had to stay at a real crappy hotel for business. And wouldn't you know it, he brought home bedbugs. They had to get rid of their mattress and their couch, which was infested with the little guys. They had to throw out the couch. Unfortunately, someone took the couch before the garbage men came. I feel real sorry for the family that took it. In the past, I wouldn't think twice about grabbing a couch or chair if I needed it. But now I realize there may be another reason it's out there besides being tired of the look.
 

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I've never thought about that either! If I'm in that situation I think I'll put a sign on it. But only because of your experience!

I can't say I've ever picked up something plush from a curb. It's usually always scrap wood or metal pieces. Now you've scared me from touching anything!
 

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Many yrs. ago i was working in a woman's house. The next day as I drove passed her place early I saw one of the junk-divers picking up her yellow shag rug she had thrown away. It didn't look too bad rolled up.. but I had seen it the day before.. huge worn holes and stains galore! (From a dog and some cats)
When a business neighbor across the alley began his re-habbing (it took 3 years), they had the largest dumpster one could rent,it was huge, but I emptied it for them one out of the three fills because I have the technology to saw off bad ends of long boards AND to pull old nails from beautiful and strong lumber,I can even cut those boards to the sizes I need to HAVE THEM!
Amazing,huh?
 
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I have always been too concerned about bugs or internal stains to take anything with cushions from the curb. I have bought second-hand chairs at a thrift store before because I loved the lines, but I put them in the garage for a week & then vacuumed them before bringing them inside. Eventually I want to replace the cushions & fabric anyway, but for now I'm satisfied they are okay.

I do think it's an awesome idea to post a sign if an item is out for the trash due to bugs or stains - it seems like an extra step, but it would sure make life easier for those of us who keep an eye out for trash!

Recently I turned around three times to get a good look at the end of someone's driveway - it was a busy street & I didn't want to stop or get out if it wasn't worth it, you know? Ha ha ha! Eventually I got a good look, and therefore stopped - I grabbed an old black iron gate with a missing finial and some rust - perfect for my uses!
 

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A few months ago, I saw a nice blonde IKEA-esque glass-doored cabinet sitting curbside in front of a rental property. I was just about to toss it in the bed of my truck- when a NY style cockroach popped up out of one of the crevices and waved at me.

I think I left skid marks driving away. :D
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I remember seeing someone throw out a couch and they had slashed all the cushions. At the time, I thought, "How rude, someone could have used it." But now I think they had bedbugs. My parents were too embarrassed to put a sign up. But when she told me, I recalled the slashed cushions and thought that would have been a better idea.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Funny story, dawnski.
Reminds me of when I was in the Navy in Norfolk, living off-base in a dumpy apartment. Someone threw away a brown, folding, floor cushion thingy and we pulled it out of the dumpster and put it to use in our apartment.
Didn't take long to figure out why it was thrown away---the thing reeked of CAT PEE. Pee--ewww..................:)
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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Eeewww, I don't typically take any curbside furniture, or buy it at garage sales. I either use something we have or buy it a our Find It store, they bring in a bed bug dog and have all of their furniture checked. It is actually posted in their store as such and guaranteed.
 

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Yep, be care of what you pick up for free or purchase used. I've heard of libraries getting bed bugs in the books even. Had picked up a nice looking carpeted cat tower at a garage sale & noticed fleas on my cats a month or so later. Now I am extra careful of what I bring home & spray bug killer on appropriate items. Bought a used aquarium & equipment from someone via a local aquarium forum & ended up seeing roaches. Quickly got it under control, thankfully.
 

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The roach comments got me thinking ~ I used to work for a company that, among other things, repaired computers. We'd get computers shipped in from all over the US if customer service couldn't solve the problem over the phone.

Our shipping clerks learned that any computer coming in from "the south" needed to be opened OUTSIDE, because there was a high chance of cockroaches! We found out that sometimes bugs were attracted to the warmth of the heatsink/fan/power supply and could short out the computer, causing the problems. Sometimes live roaches would be in there!
 

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I clipped a huge ad from some magazine many years ago . It was made by a major chemical company illustrating the various kinds of cockroaches.
One species has 200 "kids" a year! The German Cockroaches have 20,000 "Kids" (a Year! )
My line is "How do they come up with names for all their "Kids"?
One Summer a local School borrowed my poster for a class they were giving!

A patron of my house told me how he saw a very strange looking chair set out for the garbage man.
It was broken,one 1/4inch bolt "Fixed" it. He said it looked like something from a Sci-Fi movie,a lot of chrome,sleek looking?
He finally found out it was one of 300 such chairs ever made in the early 1950's. Designed by a man from France.
He sold it for $1,400.. after much research.
 

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I have 2 stories based on this theme (with a little creative license).

The first regards my next door neighbour when I was growing up. He was a very interesting looking man to a grown up and to a kid was downright scary. He had tanned skin with lots of deep wrinkles along with a wiry white moustache and beard and wiry long white hair. If you needed to model a creepy wizard character for a prop then he would be perfect. To go with this he smoked odd French tobacco in hand rolled cigarettes, which meant his fingers and nails were tobacco stained. His finger nails curled round the top of his fingers too, almost claw like. He was a skilled craftsman and made (ridiculously expensive) dols house furniture.

He and my Dad were always salvaging lots of items from the side of the road, from skips, from anywhere. So much so, that He always said that when he died, he wanted to have a coffin made from old doors complete with a door knocker on the front and a window on top so he could look out of it. Would make a cool prop too.

The second story is from my year out before Uni. I was working for a family friend and the Purchasing Manager had just come back from buying some things from an auction of used office furniture. Whilst collecting whatever he bought, he saw a few things piled up near to the skip. There was a very large glass topped boardroom table along with a set of six chairs, and was told he could have them for £20. As soon I saw the chairs I knew they had something about them, and after reading the labels underneath, found the chairs where a set of 6 Arne Jacobson designed Fritz Hansen Oxford chairs. These are a classic design you can still buy them today, but only if you want to spend over £1500 on a single chair. I would have tried to buy them myself if I wasn't working for a friend. The chairs ended up in the owners house.
 

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Yrs.ago an old man in my town was a junk collector. He found or was given stuff then junked it out selling the metal then. He had this one small item secured in his big vise. He thought there was a possible chance of becoming injured from this thing, so he moved a thick old wooden door up to the workbench/vise to protect himself,then reached around the door ,swing a hammer knocking the top off of the item,which exploded!
He staggered out into his yard,bleeding and a bit deaf, proving hand grenades cannot be junked out using this method!
He lost a couple of his fingers that day.
 
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Bed bugs can live up to 8 months without a snack, so if you're going to keep it in solitary confinement for a while, it needs to be A LONG WHILE. Or, if you live somewhere that's ridiculously cold half of the year, that will kill most six legged critters, too.
 
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