It’s bulk pickup week in my neighborhood at Lovers and Fisher, so we have dutifully piled our brush, empty boxes, outdated electronics and worn out furniture on the curb. So what happened yesterday?

At least three different pickup trucks, each piled high with junk, cruised slowly up and down the street over a couple of hours, looking for stuff they could take out of the piles. I half expected Lamont Sanford to show up. The busted office chair that my neighbor across the street put out didn’t last 10 minutes, and someone grabbed a rusted file cabinet that I had left on the curb.

We usually don’t get this much scavenging. It’s a decent neighborhood, certainly, but not the M Streets or Lakewood proper, where they have really good junk. (Or the Park Cities, but I’ll skip the joke this time). I’m wondering: Is this a sign of the slowing economy? There have been all sorts of news reports lately that cash-short consumers are skipping retailers in favor of garage sales and other less traditional venues, like consignment stores. Were the people driving through my neighborhood re-stocking their inventory for a back-to-school sale? That file cabinet was pretty banged up.

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