First impressions are lasting. Especially between neighbors. This was never truer than when I moved into my new house and did battle with the trash collectors. Being new, I was going to supervise my first day of pick-up. I looked out the window and saw the trash truck drive by. Like, completely without hesitation drive by. What? I had a lot to contribute to the city landfill and I was being denied. Flying out the door, I grabbed my trash bags and started following the truck. He stopped and explained that he did not see my trash bags because my car was parked on front of them. Oh…a man sitting high in a mobile trash compactor cannot look down on my pile of move-in mess. Hmmm. So, now I knew the rules: no cars blocking obvious trash on trash day. Got it.
So I asked Mr. Trash Collector Man, if he could stop and back up and get my trash. Nada. He is not allowed to go in reverse. Huh? I then went and stood in front of the truck. Driver Man and Deb were in a face-off. I rounded his truck and climbed up on the side of the trash truck and started talking to him about the absurdity of the situation. “Okay…I blocked trash that you very well could see. Now that I have explained about being new and not knowing the rules, you still won’t take my trash. But the real tragedy here is that you can’t drive a truck in reverse, not because of municipal code, but because you are a moron.” Okay…it wasn’t kind but it was true. He then threatened to call the ‘po-leese’ if I did not get off the truck. He then rolled up the window, with my head still peering in. That was close! So, I dismounted the Giant Garbage Can of Indy and started pitching my trash in the back of the truck. Another kind neighbor chipped in. I was then admonished that a citizen is not certified to throw the trash in the back of the truck. Whatcha gonna do pal, jump in there and pull it out? I was ready to call his supervisor but I was very satisfied that my neighbor and I had done what Trash Man said could not be done: I had succeeded in Trash Pick-up 101 and did not even need Barney Fife. HA!! As I marched across my yard, ever grateful that the last 7-8 minute exchange was history, I saw my new neighbor, an elderly female, laughing with a phone in her hand. “Honey–I can tell you that I have never seen a little lady like yourself, stand in front of a trash truck and climb up on it, then put your head in the window to give that guy grief and THEN haul your own trash down and sling it into that garbage truck! I have been laughing so hard and enjoying this, I had to call my son and tell him every detail.” I just smiled and introduced myself and told her that I usually do not climb on trash trucks. It was a new adventure.
She became one of my favorite people. Years would go by and now and then she would say, “Debbie…remember that day when the trash men…” yep, refused to take my refuse. I am certain that I won her over that day, by providing such a crazy encounter with the Trash Truck. But it goes without saying: one person’s trash mishap is another person’s pleasure.