Tips for searching for lost items in a dumpster

Lessons learned:

  1. Plan to enter the dumpster as soon as possible after you suspect it is where you lost your item.
  2. Cover as much of your body as possible, including your face, in non-permeable materials that can be easily hosed off. Where this is impossible (for example over the mouth) wear items you don’t mind throwing away afterwards.
  3. Under no circumstances should you ever breathe through your nose. If you do breathe through your nose, that’s it. You’re done.
  4. Acknowledge beforehand that it is impossible to know exactly how your item may have fallen.
  5. Do not judge what you see except to determine if it is the thing you lost. Accept no other information into your brain.
  6. If you don’t find the thing you lost, stay positive. At first it seems like the worst possible outcome is to not find it, because that would mean you just undertook a Dantean trip into the Inferno for nothing. But upon further reflection you should realize that you have increased certainty about where the lost thing is or isn’t.
  7. Once you exit the dumpster, wash immediately, but expect to experience phantom sensations of being within the dumpster for hours afterwards. These may range from unwelcome smells or tastes that linger on your fingers, mustache, and tongue, to vivid nightmares.

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