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Garbage Day

Garbage Day was about to change...

Uggh! It's garbage day!

What a disgusting way to ruin a nice Saturday, I always think.

Ever since my husband lost his job and we moved to this hicky end-of-the-road town, we've had to actually BRING our garbage and recyclables to the "Refuse Center" because it costs too much to have it picked up by a garbage truck, like normal people do.

It's such a hassle. First, I have to spend hours separating the plastic and cans from the cardboard - then the regular cardboard from the corrogated cardboard - and then the glass.

Next I have to get all the gross bags of stinky garbage out of the fly ridden garage. Chances are, at least one of the bags has been ripped open by mice, and the lovely contents is spilling out - which means I have to double bag the whole thing, usually ending up with, what I am convinced, is some horrible new strain of bacteria on me.

At least my husband is nice enough to load it all up and make it somehow fit into our tiny Ford Focus, so we can ride to the "Refuse Center" smelling like a mini garbage truck.

Whoo-hoo, what fun!

I was feeling especially cranky about "Garbage Day" on this particular Saturday. 

"It's too hot to be doing this," I grumbled, as I trudged outside, hoisting a large bin of recyclables.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. I couldn't stop grumbling about the grossness and inconvenience of it all.

"I can hear you!" my husband called from the living room, when I was back in the kitchen, still grumbling.

"I don't care!" I called back. "I hate doing this! I feel like Garbage Woman!"

What an awful super hero name that would be! I thought, inadvertently making a joke in my head.

But I was in too cranky a mood to even chuckle at my own wit.

Finally, all the stinky trash and sorted recyclables were loaded into the car, and we were on our way.

Oh, I was in a foul mood! As foul as the smell inside the Ford Focus. The heat wasn't helping either the bad smell or my bad mood, since the air-conditioning in the car didn't work.

Luckily, the "refuse center" wasn't too far from our house. I was in the process of shooing a fly off my knee, as we pulled up to the attendant.

"How's it going, folks!" he greeted us cheerfully.

I'd never seen this guy before. There was usually some skinny old hippy dude standing out front, with long bushy gray hair and an old Grateful Dead t-shirt. He was friendly enough. But he always seemed sort of stoned.

"Hi! Did you get our weight?" my husband asked.

We have to drive over this plank that records our weight with the garage in tow. Then after the garbage is unloaded, they get your weight again, and calculate the difference That's how they know how much to charge you.

The new guy nodded, with a congenial smile. He was tall, with thick dark curly hair and an interesting face

"I see you don't have your permit," he pointed out, politely.

"Yea...I paid...it's in the computer,"my husband responded. "I just can't find it. Dave knows. Are you new?"

"I'm here off and on..."the new guy responded mysteriously.

"I wonder where Dave is," my husband grumbled, as we drove around.

Now he was grumbling, and I was not! For some reason, my bad mood seemed to have vanished in the stinky air!

Sure, the air was still hot and thick with the smell of garbage. Yet....that new guy was so interesting....

As I was tossing the beer bottles into the giant glass bin, the new garbage attendant sauntered up to me and smiled. I noticed he had a very engaging smile.

"Just toss 'em on in!" he told me, in a very friendly voice. "You should see 'em after the machine gets through with 'em. Practically turns 'em into dust!"

I stood there mesmerized by his charm and his engaging smile.

"Really!" I exclaimed, like that was the most fascinating news I'd ever heard.

We just kept standing there, smiling at each other. This guy was nice! Plus, I think he sort of liked me! Dave was so boring. But this new attendant.....why, he added a whole new element to Garbage Day.

I tossed in my empty beer bottle thinking, Wow! I never could have thought it possible, but suddenly, Garbage Day is actually sort of...fun!

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