In my job I'm often walking around downtown Marshalltown several times during the day - no I'm not a street walker.
One of the things I tend to notice at times is how much discarded food can be found.
While downtown has its selection of nice restaurants, so too has there been a selection of discarded or dropped food. It's been a veritable sidewalk smorgasbord on Main Street lately.
Just a few weeks ago, there was a perfect slice of pizza outside the bike shop. It looked prime for the plucking by a passing dog or someone who stumbles out of the bars at 2 a.m.
I saw something brand new last week that I have never seen on the sidewalk smorgasbord - oyster crackers.
Yep, there was a handful of oyster crackers near the corner of Main and Second streets. That's not something you see every day.
It makes me wonder who was moving so fast that they failed to compensate for all of the oyster crackers in their possession.
Or was it someone who cracked open a package, decided it wasn't to their fancy, and then poured the rest of the bag on the sidewalk?
I don't want people thinking that they should avoid downtown because it's littered with old food. That's not the case. But with people comes the occasional unexplainable perishing food item.
I guess we'll never know - but that's the fun part - speculating just how this type of food got there.
One of my other favorite food finds was a few years ago was when I spotted a mound of spaghetti plopped on Main Street near what has now become photo gallery row.
I always wondered if someone tossed it out of an apartment window above. It makes it seem like 1970s New York City with drying laundry strung out between buildings and people heaving pots of who-knows-what out of the window.
Let this be a siren song to any area dog out there who reads my column. If you are hungry, sniff around the Main Street sidewalks and you could find something to nibble on.
I accept no responsibility if this sidewalk smorgasbord gets anyone sick, but that's the risk one takes when eating this food with real curbside appeal.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org