Human Garbage Disposal · 31 October 2010

Apparently, my reputation precedes me. For some reason, everybody knows that I will eat just about anything. People who do not even know me know that I am a Human Garbage Disposal (HGD). It makes me wonder if I might have the letters “HGD” stamped on my forehead.

Perhaps it is an exaggeration to say that everybody knows I am an HGD, but it seems like it. Maybe it is just the vibe I give. I do not drool when people have food left on their plates, but apparently my thought, “Are you going to eat that?” goes out to the universe for all to hear. It is understandable when I am with family and friends who know I eat everything. But it is embarrassing when we are in public and people stop to offer me their last bites of sandwiches. Okay. Okay. That has not really happened to me. At least not yet.

I might truly be a Human Garbage Disposal, but I was just the prototype. You might say that I was HGD #1. My brother, Russell, was and still is, the new and improved model, HGD #2. When we were teenagers in the small youth group at our church, everybody gave us their extra food. Nothing went to waste. Except maybe coconut. Still, if our good buddy Greg was with us, (which he was most of the time) then absolutely nothing would go to waste. It was rare that all three of us would say that we were full at the same time. One of us would always have more room for more. Especially, if we just stood up and let the food sink down to the repositories in our legs. When food was left over at a function, people would just send it to us boys. We were eating machines. And everybody knew it.

Over the years, I thought that my eating reputation had gone away or at least diminished. But the other day, our neighbor gave us food left over from a party that they were not going to be able to eat. “We know he is a Human Garbage Disposal,” was what she said when she gave my wife the food. And she has given us leftovers before too! Maybe when we were kids, somebody stamped “HGD” with the appropriate model number on my brother’s and my foreheads. It is uncanny the way people give me their extra food.

Then again, maybe it is not so strange that I get people’s leftovers. For years, I have stopped by the concession stand after home football games to check with the ladies running the place to see if any hotdogs were left over. And for years, these ladies have taken care of me. It is not as if they cook up more than they need. They just know that when the night is over and all the paying customers are gone, HGD #1 will be there to get that last hotdog. Regardless of who is there running the stand, she takes care of me. It is probably not the stamp on my forehead, but a passing of lore to the next group of concession caretakers. “If you have any hotdogs left at the end of the night, give one to Coach Miyoshi.” One day, those same ladies might even put up a laminated copy of this article and post it over the hotdog warming bin instead of passing the lore down like an oral tradition.

Over the years, I am sure I have earned my reputation as a Human Garbage Disposal. From my youth, I have eaten every leftover in sight. And even though I am sure my brother and I do not have HGD stamped on our foreheads, people know that we will eat pretty much everything. So I am not surprised that our neighbor gives us extra food that she knows will not get eaten at their house.

Truth be told, I will probably not be surprised when someday a stranger offers me that last bite of his sandwich. Of course, I will probably eat that last bite. But before I do, I hope he says in response to my quizzical look, “I saw the ‘HGD’ stamped on your forehead.”

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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