The most hallowed of days
In lockdown the only day I care about anymore is garbage collection day. Every other day blurs into one. Its like the new day of worship. where the holy garbage-truck bestows his love on his… paying followers. A day which instigates activity on our street… a community acting as one to… eh… line their bins out on the curb.
Today was that day.
I’m going to try and make this sound less elitist and privileged than it probably is. Too be fair I am elitist and privileged… but occasionally pretend I have empathy for the destitute and act out this supposed empathy in a patronizing manner inline with my fortuitous birth.
With time to burn we’ve (sorta) been spring cleaning. We seem to have had an excess of pillows. Old pillows, with feathers, in a floral pillow cases which belies their ancientness. Neither of us know how they came to be here. Really, they just take up space, so we bagged them and I left them on top of our bin for the indigents that come to our area on garbage day to rifle through our trash in search of aluminium, tin and plastic worth recycling.
They’re technically supposed to be locked down and starving to death somewhere out of sight. But they’re still around… albeit in stealth mode. If the police catch you going for a jog or walking your dog they’ll just fine you. These guys… well… lets just say they will be potentially motivated in other ways* not to venture forth from their domiciles under highway bridges and storm-water culverts.
*read corrective violence
Because we are bored we flicked over to the CCTV on our wide screen and sat back to see who would collect our pillows.
We didn’t have to wait long. 3 minutes to be precise. He opened the bag, saw the pillows and set them to one side, then flipped open the bin and pulled everything out to see what else was salvageable.
I separate my garbage. So really, there’s never anything in there worth salvaging. Except this time we’d thrown away our old broken kettle. Being a hybrid of metal and plastic it wasn’t easily one or the other. So I binned it.
In any event, he took our kettle, put everything back into the bin. Set the pillows carefully back on top and left.
Me and my wife stared at each other. Both quite indignant that our old, hideous, floral patterned pillows weren’t good enough for him.
About a minute later someone else wanders up. Looks in the bag… takes it and meanders off camera again.
We stare at each other dumbfounded before we start laughing. Its incredulous laughter though.
Its my dad.
He’d clearly just put his bin out, wondered what his son and daughter in-law were throwing away. And came to check it out.
This is however the perfect example to describe my parents. Gah! And sadly not the first time they have expropriated my garbage. I should likely also point out that my folks are 1%’ers. Nor do they need extra pillows.
My dad grew up in the firebombed ruins of Hamburg subsisting off baked beans. My mom is a refugee from Poland. I chalk it up to that. Their spoiled offspring doesn’t get it though. WTF.