Early yesterday morning while
planning my vacation to WestWorld working from my home office, I happened to hear the city trash truck slowly rumbling down our lane.
Which was unusual for any number of reasons, but mostly because the Town & Country vehicle was hours early.
The way it works in our neighborhood is we put the bags & bins out on the curb a little after 7:00 AM Thursday mornings and Town and Country swings by to collect them ’round sundown.
Well…that’s not exactly true. What happens is about noon T&C collects garbage/plastic from the east side of the street ONLY. Because…reasons.
Then come dusk T&C cruises by and collects the items from our side of the street (that’s not already been savagely strewn across the neighborhood by wandering mutts and raccoons.)
So for T&C to appear before 9:00 AM was more than a rara avis, it is just never done.
Curious, I took my
blunt and coffee out to the front porch to witness the event; years from now I could tell my (putative) grandchildren of The Day the Trash Service Did Its Job.
However, something was off; maybe it was the
blunt lack of regular sleep but it sure looked like the truck wasn’t onboarding any refuse. What the truck was doing was crawling down the center of the road, stopping in front of each pair of east/west houses for about 15 seconds, then moving down to the next set of houses.
No one got out of the truck to throw garbage. The truck just kept repeating this ghost pattern until it reached the end of our lane, turned right and then stopped at the first set of north/south houses thereon, where it didn’t pick up their garbage either. Then the truck disappeared from view.
Not that I thought in terms of the 60s or anything, but I walked down to the end of our drive and physically touched both the big yellow trash bag and ubiquitous blue recycle bin. Cool, I wasn’t flashing after all!
So I went inside and called 311.
I had just started thinking “What a rube; they’ll never answer” when they did.
Seriously, it only took about a minute for the lady on the other end to pick up, listen to my Daliesque tale and start laughing like a banshee. She asked me to wait and went wherever civil servants go while they have you on hold, perhaps for another coffee and doughnut? Who knows but this time she came back in just under a couple of moments to say that “perhaps the driver was new and needed to learn his route.”
There was so much I could say in response that I just sort of stuttered into the phone, whereupon the lady laughed again and told me T&C’s contract held them responsible for picking up the trash/recyclables by 6:00 PM, so there wasn’t anything she could do until then, but she would note the call. Oh, and have a nice day!
Hmmm. Well, I went back to
streaming American Ultra work and thought nothing of it until sometime later when I heard the truck again. I walked outside just in time to see a city worker gently replacing my blue tub on the grass; my trash had already disappeared. He gave me a polite salute, said “Have a GREAT day, sir!”, then shagged after his lumbering vehicle. The crew continued down the street this way and collected everything from every house, turned the corner and disappeared.