Hunts and Fails

By James Mulvey; posted May 31, 2016

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I have put this under the Hunts and Finds folder simply because there is no Hunts and Fails folder. If there was, I would be a major contributor. I have good days, but lately it seems to be more common to have not so good days. For years, I had been granted access to several dumpsters at different utility sites, then last spring I was denied at all of them. policy changes they said. I don't know and it does not matter the reason. The answer was no.

Fast forward to this past weekend. We had travelled to my in-laws, some 300 miles away. Almost in his backyard was a dumpster full of insulators from a major upgrade that had been going on for several months. Beside it was a metal bin and beside it was a wood bin.

Sunday comes and I duck out of a party to go check things out. I find and talk to four workers before I find the boss. 'Sure' he says, 'take what you want out of the dumpster, they are all broken, but please come back when we are gone'. This made total sense as who wants me poking around when they are very busy getting the power back on after a outage. Five o'clock finds me digging through the bin, a couple employees still there doing whatever it is they do, I wave, they wave back. I keep digging. One hour goes by, then another half hour before I decide I have had enough and call it quits. I have 15 maybe 20 suspensions sorted out laying on the ground beside the bin. I'm sitting on the edge of the bin quite comfortably when the first cruiser pulls in, cop gets out. 'Whatcha doing?' ' I'm taking some insulators. I was here earlier today and got permission, and was told to come back when they weren't working. A liability thing you know.'

"Well he is the boss' the cop says pointing to a fella behind me,' and he doesn't know anything about you. What was the name of the guy you talked to?'

I was done. I always, always, always, ask the name of the people I talk to, but in this case he was so laid back about me gong through the bin, I simply forgot. That and he was already walking away - they were busy people at that moment. I was not welcome there.

Nope, no name. I'm toast. 'Can you describe him?'. Yea right. Safety orange from head to toe, orange hard hat, safety glasses, black hair. Should be able to pick him out of a crowd. Second cruiser has arrived by now.

I'm asked for ID. Nope, don't have any. We are visiting her relatives, she is driving her car, I left my wallet at home. ok, name and date of birth. Well, I guess out there somewhere there is a wanted man with a name almost the same as mine. Had to spell my name three times and confirm date of birth twice. This was made more difficult by the fact that the closest either cop got to me was 20 feet. Everything was yelled back and forth. When I was asked to spell it the second time, I noticed the one cop move a few steps away from his partner, better line of fire I'm thinking. I was also told to 'drop the screwdriver' that I had been using to separate the discs.

Instant flashback - a few years ago five Canadian cops once felt threatened enough by one man and a paper stapler to shoot and kill him. I'm looking at two cops and they are looking a a long black screwdriver covered in blood. try as I might to be careful, I still got a real bleeder that day. A small cut but the porcelain makes such a clean edge, cuts don't clot very fast, just bleed and bleed .

Half an hour later we all went out separate ways. I went back to the party. The employee who called the police left for wherever, one cop went north, one went south, and the insulators all went back in the dumpster.

I like this story because this is how things are supposed to work. I found the dumpster and asked permission. An employee saw someone on their property in one of their bins and called the police. I couldn't prove my story, but I'm thinking they at least half believed it. One detail the cops told me was that they had previous problems in the area. That instead of the employee coming over and talking to me, that he would call the cops instead was the smart and correct thing to do. and then to save face, make me put all the porcelain back in the bin.

If I had been after metal, I would have been in the other bin much less visible from the road was the only contributing factor that was in my favour.

If I had asked the employees name, I would have been ok. I didn't and I screwed up. I usually have a couple pictures and a CJOW on hand - in my truck. We had her car and I didn't have them. I usually have a safety vest and hardhat - nope, not this trip. Didn't have a single thing to support my position. That and I was standing on a 40 lb. piece of brass attached to the largest multipart I have ever seen, trying to explain to the cop that, no I have no interest in metals, just them porcelain things.

The brass was one of two in the bin. They had been parts of a knife switch for the TS station. Really purdy, really heavy, really buried, Really going to stay there. Of that I'm really sure.