Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trash Talkin'

I am totally serious when I say this. At this time of year, there are people at work for you every day, and their work, never much fun to begin with, is only harder when the temperature and the humidity soar like stinky eagles.

I'm talking about the refuse collectors who come to your street and haul away the trash and the recycling. This is not a sweet gig, but it's honest work; can you recall ever seeing a trash truck come down your street without the crew hustling to your driveway or sidewalk, grabbing the cans and bags and bundles, tossing them into the great yawning maw of the diesel-belching truck, and then signaling to the driver to pull up to the next house? While they walk to the next can or bag or bundle. All day long, and in the heat, not much fun.

My buddy did this job one summer between semesters in college. The other summers, he worked in a photo lab - and by the way, he wanted you to know that when you send your "special, private" photos to a photo lab, people who work in the photo lab make five or six copies of your special, private pictures of your special privates and trade them around like kids with a pack of Jose Canseco rookie cards. The one summer he couldn't get that job, things just didn't develop for him and he wasn't in the picture. So he worked in DC for a trash hauler in swanky Georgetown, where he was obliged to go into the backyard of these richguy joints and haul the trash around, thereby saving that good-for-nothing Von Snobsworth boy from having to get up and do something besides being corpulent all summer. My friend told me that, usually by 2 pm every day, he was used to the rotten stench and foul miasma of waste.

The people we think are important - the A-Rods, the Johnny Depps, the Simon Cowells of the world...if they all packed it in and stopped working, somehow, life would go on. And quite frankly, if Jon & Kate were to sell their mansion and move back to Oblivion, we'd all be better off. But ask anyone who's been in New York City during a sanitation strike, as the potato peelin's, banana skins, steak leavin's, and chicken bones pile up and shimmer in the summer sun, and they will tell you that the smell is not quite like walking through Lavender Fields.

Right about now, you might be asking yourself, why is he making this point? I'm just saying, there are far worse things in life than to have the local trash guys on your side, and one of the wise investments I make every so often is to get a cheap styrofoam cooler, ice down a six pack of something cold and refreshing, toss in a chaser and leave it for the guys. (Wintertime alternative: a little "toddy for the body.") Then, when you want to get rid of something that might be a little bulky or large or otherwise just outside the guidelines, you sleep tight because you took care of the guys who take care of you!

1 comment:

PandorasInk said...

That's an excellent idea!