Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
talking trash today. What else can one do when one is up to
their chin in the stuff? For some reason, my trash men have
become too uppity to take anything unless it is packaged a certain way
to meet their specifications.
It used to be, when I first moved out to the boondocks, that trash
pickup services wanted your business. They would knock on the
door, leave flyers, and practically beg you to use their service
instead of the less convenient competitors that made you drag the
trashcans to the curb.
You see, in unincorporated areas, we do not have such conveniences as
a municipal trash service. For all they care, you can bury it in
your back yard or haul it yourself. Therefore, it is up to the
suburban homeowner to find a private trash company and hire them to do
the dirty deed if it is done.
My new trash folks were great. They came up in the driveway
right to the cans and took anything there twice a week. Even the
extra rubbish from holidays or yard work magically disappeared in the
early dawn unnoticed.
Then the price went up. Later the amount of trash they would collect
became limited to two cans. Eventually, they only took what was
in a plastic bag and only if it did not exceed a certain weight.
Finally, they started coming only once per week.
The rules eventually became so numerous, that I lost track. I
just started putting it out there and if it remained after a week, it
didnít meet the guidelines.
Trash that doesnít meet the guidelines can become a real problem.
There was the ceramic flowerpot they refused to take because it was
too heavy. I got rid of it by smashing it into small pieces and
sneaking it into the garbage a piece at the time.
Shrub and tree trimmings were broken into bits and stuffed into trash
bags so they looked like ordinary trash. It was a nightmare.
I finally found that the county has a recycling and disposal center.
I donít have to spend any more time breaking things into bits, but I
do have to go during certain hours when they are open and haul the
stuff in my car or enlist a friend with a truck.
Then the other day I made the mistake of hiring my daughterís friend
to rake up the spoiled apples under the apple tree. He bagged
them and placed them by the trashcans. The trash man didnít
even give them a second glance, only the trash that met specifications
Flies gathered as the apples began to decompose in the bags and leak.
What to do? Repressing my gag reflex, I double bagged them and
put them in one of the empty trashcans. Apparently,
specifications were not met, as they are still there. I donít
know whatís wrong. They must be too heavy. Or maybe
trashbags need to be tied with a pink ribbon now.
I am simply at my witís end. The trashcan is full of apples
and insects. I have no place to put real trash. I canít
haul the mess to the disposal center because I canít lift the can
and the bags might leak in the car.
And they wonder why rednecks have washing machines and refrigerators
on the porch? This is why! The trash man wonít take it -
if there is one. You canít break it into bits and the disposal
center is closed even if you had a truck, and could lift it and figure
out where to take it.
Iíll figure out something, donít worry. If worse comes to
worse, Iíll hire my daughterís friend to haul them away.
Actually, Iím beginning to wonder if that was his plan all along.
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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