A Comedy Garbage Story

in Garbage

Man has contemplated this dilemma for centuries and even today looks for answers to this perplexing question—namely, "exactly how does one ‘throw away' his old garbage can?"

I have placed mine in front of the house for years, hoping and praying throughout the night that when the garbage truck rolls round the following morning, that it will take it.  But, alas, there it still sits, like a forlorn person no one wants.

On one occasion, I became so desperate that I taped a note to its side which said, "Please throw away!"  But, the next morning, I realized that the garbage man had peeled off the note, crumbled the paper, and thrown it into the truck, but left the can!

On another occasion, I had slashed the side of the plastic can to emphasize its "garbage" status, but the garbage man had apparently repaired the cut, using the original tape from the note.

On still another occasion, I had stuffed the old garbage can into a new one, so that it would appear as "garbage," needing to be taken away.  But, when I awoke, the garbage man had left the note this time: "Limit one can per house on weekday pick-ups," it had said.

So desperate had I become that, on the night before a designated pick-up, I set my alarm for 5:00 a.m., knowing full well that the garbage truck always came very early, wrapped myself in my winter coat the following morning, and walked down to the curb, awaiting it.  Boy, will I finally clear up this discrepancy in no uncertain terms, I thought.

I cocked an ear, straining to hear the lumbering, engine-vibrating truck, but no sound approached.  In fact, it had been so early that no sound whatsoever could be heard, not even from a passing car.  I shivered in the cold.  The sky lightened.  The sun inched above the horizon.  And dawn arrived—but no truck.

After more than an hour, it was apparent that it had no intention of coming that morning.  Was this a conspiracy—or had I gone completely crazy?

I looked round.  Why was my garbage can the only one in front of the houses that day, I had wondered?  Furious that the truck had not come on the day that I had awakened after a few scant hours of sleep, I stormed back into the house, determined to give the sanitation company a call—and a piece of my mind—preferably, the fire-spitting piece.

But, after a quick check of the calendar, I realized that it had been a holiday!  Garbage pick-up was always rescheduled for the following day on such occasions.

I counted the hours.  After 24 of them had ticked by, that blasted alarm shattered the dead—and me—from peaceful slumber again.

Down the walk I went, bundled in the same winter coat, which failed to contain the anger erupting from inside, pounding the driveway so determinedly with my feet that I must have left footprint-shaped indentations in its concrete.  It was still dark.  And I waited.  If that piece of garbage on four wheels called a "garbage truck" did not come by today, I thought, I was going to explode!

I could not tell if it had been wishful thinking or delusionality, but that night-shattering rumble—that earth-trembling, engine-vomiting sound which could only have belonged to the object of my day and desire—grew louder—and never sounded sweeter.

There I stood, like a maniac.  There it approached, increasing in size.  We were no match for each other.  With my anger, it was clearly the weaker of the two.

It rattled closer and grew life-size, virtually belching waste from its exhaust pipe, like a mechanical elephant with diarrhea.  Both the truck and the moment had arrived.  The gloved, blue coverall-clad garbage man leaped from his perch and landed on the street.  That this had been the moment of truth was a sheer understatement.  He glared into my eyes, which assuredly flashed the word "kill," like the rotating wheels found in slot machines.

Like an erupting volcano, and pointing to the cut, crushed, crud of a crappy can, I screamed in a tone which rose like a mushroom cloud, "Will you flipping throw that flipping can in that flipping truck before I rip your flipping head off your flipping body!" I exploded.  "It's garbage, you moron!  It should be thrown out, just like everything in it!"  Steam assuredly escaped from my sizzling head.  I must have created a mini-climactic zone of heat and humidity immediately surrounding my body on that frigid winter morning.

But the man only continued to glare into my eyes, shrugging with incomprehension.  Apparently, he only spoke Chinese!

And now, half a century later, there it still sits.  I know of countries younger than this can.  Will someone please answer the question: how does one get rid of this bloody thing?

Author Box
Robert Waldvogel has 25 articles online
A graduate of Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus with a summa-cum-laude Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Languages and Journalism, I have subsequently earned the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Aerospace Technology at the State University of New York - College of Technology at Farmingdale. I have also earned the Continuing Community Education Teaching Certificate from the Nassau Association for Continuing Community Education (NACCE) at Molloy College, the Travel Career Development Certificate from the Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) at Long Island University, the Art and Science of Teaching Certificate at Long Island University, and completed a Multi-Genre Writing Program at Hofstra University. At SUNY Farmingdale Aerospace I completed some 30 hours of Private Pilot Flight Training in Cessna C-152 and -172 Skyhawk aircraft. Having amassed three decades in the airline industry with Capitol Air, Midway Airlines, Triangle Aviation Services, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and Austrian Airlines, and their Delta, Atlantic Excellence, and Star Alliances, I have accrued experience in the areas of Passenger Service, Ticket Sales-Reservations, Local Training, Passenger Service Supervision, Ramp and Baggage Room Supervision, Operations-Load Control-Aircraft Dispatch, Station Administration, Passenger Service and Operations Training, and Station Management, during which time I have had working affiliations with Icelandair, Delta Air Lines, Swissair, Sabena Belgian World Airways, Malev Hungarian Airlines, SAS, Lufthansa, and United Airlines. During a similar period of initial and recurrent training at the respective US and European training centers of Capitol Air, Austrian Airlines, Swissair, Lufthansa-German Airlines, and United Airlines, I have earned numerous Airline Ground Operations Certificates and Licenses. At Austrian Airlines, I managed the New York-JFK and Washington-Dulles stations. Also at Austrian, I created the local, US, and ultimate North American Station Training Programs, updated in accordance with aircraft, system, procedure, and alliance change, comprised of the North American Station Training Program Course List; the individual Course Notices; the four integral programs of Initial Passenger Service, Ramp Supervision Certification, Load Control Licensing, and Airline Management; 27 procedural manuals, training manuals, and textbooks; three station histories; 28 curriculums; and 63 courses taught to Austrian Airlines and Austrian Airlines-handling carriers in Montreal and Toronto in Canada; Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and Washington in the US; Cancun in Mexico; and Punta Cana in the Caribbean. Each course concluded with a Certificate of Completion. An Aviation Advisor to Farmingdale State University of New York, I advised the Aviation Department about airline industry trends in a series of individual and full advisory committee meetings and suggested course and curriculum creations and re-directions based upon them; adapted airline training programs and devised original courses and lectures into university-level offerings; experimentally taught them to aviation faculty and Aviation Administration Degree students; familiarized potential enrollees with the university’s aviation degree programs; pursued a series of aerospace museum research trips; and created a university-airline industry employment bridge; all of which culminated in the Airline Management Program Blueprint. In 2006, I created the Airline Management Certificate Program, comprised of a pre-program, four university-level courses, and an airline industry internship, and this had been accepted by and offered at the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center at Farmingdale State University in 2007. It had also been explored as a stand-alone certificate program and the core of Associates and Bachelor degree programs at Empire State College. A writer for Cole Palen’s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York, I researched and wrote aerodrome- and aircraft-related articles for its quarterly Rotary Ramblings newsletter and website, and explored educational programs based upon this material. A frequent lecturer, I gave presentations at the Farmingdale State University Student Aviation Seminar, the Liberty Partnership Program/Summer of Aviation at Republic (SOAR), and the Aerospace Education Corporation Aviation Career Fair Programs. I have been invited by Cunard to lecture on its transatlantic liners: the Queen Elizabeth 2, the Queen Mary 2, and the Queen Victoria. A freelance author, I have written some 70 books of the short story, novel, nonfiction, essay, poetry, article, log, curriculum, training manual, and textbook genre in English, German, and Spanish, having principally focused on aviation and travel, and I have been published in book, magazine, newsletter, and electronic Web site form. On the latter, I attained Marketplace Approved and Marketplace Premier Writer and Platinum Level Author statuses. Fluent in English, German, and Spanish, with secondary knowledge of Dutch, Italian, and Latin, I have traveled globally and extensively, having completed some 350 lifetime trips by air, sea, rail, and road to Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Atlantic, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Greenland, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. This travel, which has facilitated considerable freelance aviation and travel photography, has encompassed more than 100 private vehicle and car rental road trips in 27 US states, 11 Canadian provinces, and ten countries, covering 35,000 miles; 35 sightseeing, narrow-gauge, short range, and long range rail journeys in 18 US states, eight Canadian provinces, and 12 countries, totaling more than 10,000 miles; 27 cruises and crossings, resulting in 205 days at sea and some 60,000 nautical miles sailed; and more than 1,000 air sectors exceeding 3,000 airborne hours. I have maintained professional affiliations with the Nassau Association for Continuing Community Education, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, and the National Air and Space Society, and I am a Cradle of Aviation Museum Aerospace Honoree and a National Air and Space Museum-Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center sponsor. I have attained some 35 academic, employment, and travel honors and awards throughout my career. My lifetime hobbies and interests have encompassed arts and crafts, cycling, model railroading, music (instrumental and vocal), aquariums, landscaping, horseback riding, live theater, and aerospace museums. My life goal has been to creatively interrelate my educationally-developed and subsequently-practiced talents within the six fields of aviation, education, journalism, foreign language, travel, and photography. Aviation, the field around which the other five revolve, has provided their core of connection.
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A Comedy Garbage Story

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This article was published on 2010/12/01