Adventures in Dumpsterland Chapter 1

Adventures in Dumpsterland
Kerry Hallam


It was just another typical Sunday morning at the Madaket Mall, or if you are a stickler for formality, “The Madaket Recycling, Refuse and Waste Disposal Facility”.

Denis the Red Throated Wineloving Loon bundled up against the biting and raging nor’easter (with periods of rain and occasional sunshine), and was sorting out his trash. It was always a rather tedious business to determine which items went through what door and which were permissible contributions to the “Take It or Leave It” alcove.

Denis had managed to dispose of almost all his items, leaving only the large sheets of corrugated cardboard which would need to be stuffed down the designated shoot. It was a bit of an ordeal bending and folding and stuffing the sheets through the opening, and he was obliged to use his feet for the final push. There then arose a sudden gale, and into the chute he went, cascading with the cardboard for what seemed like forever, landing on top of a mountain of newspapers, cardboard, and the odd orange peel. He slowly collected himself, dusted off the bits of food festooning his clothing, and stood up.

A cursory glance told him that his present surroundings were decidedly subterranean and surreal. He was in a large chamber with a faint misty blue light emitting from a far corridor.

And there on top of the mountain a sign, hand painted in letters made of pieces of clouds: “Dumpsterland”.

“Either someone slipped something into my Downyflake lunch or I am in a bit of a pickle one way or another. It could be worse I suppose. I am still in one piece”, said Denis.

Having satisfied himself that all his working parts were still in the same place and functional, he climbed down from the mountain and set off to explore his new surroundings. He was rounding another mountain of polystyrene when he heard the faint strumming of a guitar. As he approached, he was amazed to be confronted by a large rooster playing a Stratocaster in an open G tuning. The rooster stopped on a B flat diminished fifth with sprinkles.

“What’s up?” said the rooster.

“Well, it’s a bit hard to explain. I seem to have fallen down the shoot and I am just beginning to get a tad freaked out. Believe me, I have never encountered anything like this before” said Denis.

“Oh! I see, well it’s a little tune that I’ve been working on during my off duty. Do you like it?”

“It is quite lovely but it’s not every day that one meets a rooster wearing a Woodstock T-shirt who can not only talk but play an instrument. It’s rather a lot to digest if you see what I mean.”

“Right on man, I can dig that. Well, there are quite a number of us down here in Dumpsterland. I’ll show you around if you like. Put a dollar or two in my tip can”.

The rooster leaned his guitar on his chair.

“My name’s Hobson, Hobson the Rooster. What’s yours?”

“Denis, Denis the Loon” he replied.

So they set off down the corridor past walls lined with framed watercolor portraits of multitudinous animals in various costumes and poses.

“That’s a pretty impressive collection of paintings. Who made them?” asked Denis.

“Hard to say really; we get a lot of them down here. I know there’s one of me somewhere that Kerry the Painting and Singing Parrot did after a rather hectic evening on weed and the five star if you get my drift. Never cared for the painting myself; missed my character altogether.”

They arrived at a large banquet hall filled with animals of every shape and size immersed in conversation and eating dinner at spacious communal tables.There was a sudden hush as a large white rabbit hopped onto a low stage and tapped the table with her tail.

“Please, a little quiet please, please, thank you.”

“As you know, I am Sarah the White Rabbit Dumpsterland Moderator and I shall be presiding over the evening’s festivities, and welcome to our newly elected Mayor of Dumpsterland, Fifi the Feline.

“Please remember that floor time will be limited, so keep your comments as short and to the point as possible. I will have the deciding vote should there be a need.

“I would like at this point to acknowledge our distinguished notables. On the stage we have in no particular order, Major General Alphonse Waddling who is doing such splendid work with the Duck Brigade, and whose story has been told by Kerry the Parrot and published far and wide both below and above ground by our local scribe, Gene the Manatee About Town.

“From the medical wing we have Doctor Diane the Fawn and Doctor Tim the Bone Collecting Eagle.

“Representing the restaurant community we have John O’ the Bear, Joe the Italian Stallion, Angela the Pearl of the Oyster, Marcovious the Brazilian Tiger Shrimp, and Michael the Sturgeon.

“Also present are our esteemed head of law enforcement William the Pitbull; from our Board of Selectanimals we have Michael the Saint Bernard, and here too is our esteemed administrator, Libby the Lioness.

“Many thanks to everyone for attending tonight’s gathering. And so on to business.”

To be continued next week ….


Kerry Hallam was born and raised in the North of England. He was elected to the Royal Society of Artists and later established his first studio in the South of France. Kerry has lived and painted on the island for the past thirty years. He is represented internationally by Chalk and Vermilion of Greenwich, and has held extensive one man shows in the States, Japan, France and the U.K. His autobiography ‘Getting to Nantucket’ was recently published, and in the past few years, he has issued seven C.D.’s of own written and performed music. All illustrations are by Kerry Hallam. This column will appear regularly.

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