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?