Thursday, January 4, 2018


I figured I’d miss the pick up day when we were back east for Thanksgiving, but I honestly couldn’t be bothered to make arrangements for someone to roll the bins out to the curb on trash night, even though it was the biweekly full haul day with trash, recycling, and yard waste scheduled for pick up. Sure, the blue recycling bin was pretty full. It always is, being assigned to the happy yellow house of earth loving consumers, one of whom produces perhaps a slightly higher per capita ratio of bottles to bodies.  It was pretty full, but I was still able to dump the kitchen receptacle as needed, and being gone a week reduced our production of said bottles, as well as the empty boxes, containers and paper that were just starting to multiply in those weeks leading up to Christmas. I clearly didn’t give it much thought. We returned home on the in between week, when only trash is collected. The blue bin became very full over that next week, and by the time we reached Sunday night, when we were due to roll the bins out for collection at the crack of Monday’s ass, we had reached overflow status.

And yet

When I heard the telltale sounds of an approaching trash truck on Monday morning, I literally leapt out of my warm bed and literally ran through my house and literally screamed every curse word I know and literally prayed for the dudes to see me come barreling out in boxers and my ADIOS PANTALONES tank top that’s a little too big, trying so desperately to get that blue bin down to the curb before the truck passed me by.

And yet

I had no choice but to roll that fucker back up to the side yard for another two weeks. The two weeks that straddle Christmas. We were all off of school and work, and home consuming. I hosted my work party. Santa Claus came. I hosted Christmas dinner. I set up several empty boxes in the garage to catch the surplus. I talked to my neighbor about putting some stuff in her bin, which was already half full before Christmas.

It was a bugaboo.

New Year’s Day pushed this week’s collection back to Tuesday, and I was bound and determined to get that recycling out of my life. Christmas had been undone in the house, because our yard waste collection does indeed include Christmas trees so even that sucker was hauled out to sit by the bins.

Late on Monday night, I crept up and down the block depositing recyclables into unknown neighbors’ bins like some sort of rogue vigilante hero. I went to bed smug and snug in the assurance that the balance of nature would be restored. I heard the trucks start their rounds, and curled up under the covers. Hola, Pantalones.  At a reasonable hour, I went outside to bring in the bounty of empty bins and put this tragic chapter fully behind me.

And yet

There on the curb, a Christmas tree.



Me, You, or Ellie said...

I love trash collection stories. Like, I *really* love trash collection stories. As godawful it is to miss the recycling truck in your Adios, Pantalones tank top -- wait, actually, that makes the story completely awesome -- it's just as emotional and fraught to actually succeed in the successful completion of your trash being hauled ingloriously away.

Just this very evening -- and by "evening" I mean "4:00" -- I got home from work after my 2 mile walk across the tundra of New London after yesterday's bombogenesis snowstorm -- there is *snow* out there, people. I started the car because it had been a few days, and the next few days are supposed to be record-breaking sub-zero temps -- butthatisastoryforadifferentday -- and whilst I was out there, and had some blood flowing, I did a little pathway shoveling. We are notoriously bad shovelers, but I don't want my postal carrier to die.

And I heard the unmistakable sound of Gahbage Man backing down our street.

Now, our usual garbage and recycling day is Thursday, but Monday was New Year's Day, which would typically push it to Friday, but yesterday the whole town was closed, so I really didn't know what was what; nobody did. And frankly, garbage *freezes* in this weather -- so does recycling -- so it didn't really matter that we didn't get ours out to the curb. BUT STILL. Gahbage Man was here! So I dashed inside, ran through my house to the unheated back porch where we'd stored several small bags of garbage inside a bigger bag, and dashed back outside just as our friendly gahbage menses' truck's magic arm was dumping our neighbors' garbage into the top of the truck. I gesticulated madly, they nodded and smiled, I made my way through the wee space between the truck and the gigantic snowbank to arrive at our neighbors' garbage bucket that still had the claw grasping it, dumped my bag, and watched it go up and into the truck.

Bye bye Gahbage Man! Bye bye gahbage!

Wow, this is a long comment. But I told you. I love trash collection stories.



Me, You, or Ellie said...

p.s. Hola, Pantalones.


Jacquie said...

Oh my GOD your story was RIVETING. Garbage Freezes is the name of my new band.

Love you madly, sister.

Gahbage truuuuuuuuuck!

Beth said...

Wow, it totally pays to read the comments. I got TWO garbage stories!

(AND I heard Jacquie's garbage story first hand yesterday as well!) So funny!