Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't Clog Up The Poop Shoot

I went out to check the mail one day last month and there was our newest garbage bill. I opened the envelope and was shocked to see that it was 3 times more than last quarter's bill. Surely there must be some mistake. So I call the garbage company and find out that No there's no mistake - we've had a rate increase. Not just a little increase but literally 3 times the amount it used to be! I tell the woman on the phone that this is ridiculous and she smirks into the phone that trash pickup is getting expensive. I said something nasty and hung up on her and then went on a rampage. "This is extortion!" I tell the Island King. He agrees that it seems like extortion to him also but we generate trash and someone needs to pick it up so pay the bill and get over it. Get over it? I will not give in to this kind of extortion and I'm not paying the %$^&* bill! He looks at me and says "Pay the bill - you can't clog up the poop shoot or things will get ugly" I stomped around for a few minutes and then took the trash bill and threw it into the trash can. "I AM NOT PAYING THIS" I tell him. For this price the trash man needs to come inside, empty each individual trash can and then haul it all to the road - and bring the can back up to the house when he's done. A few days go by and one evening I was taking the trash out and notice that the trash can is getting full. Hmm. I think about this for a minute deciding what to do. There's no doubt that the trash needs to be removed but I am not paying that bill so I need to find an alternative solution. So I go back inside and look through the phone book. There's a trash transfer station in the next town over so I call them and find out that they are only open to the public 1 day a week and they have odd hours on that day and it costs a minimum of $10. I look through the newspaper and call several numbers for people who have ads stating they will haul stuff. I call them and find out that hauling stuff must be a pretty good business because they want outrageous amounts of money to haul anything. Things aren't looking good until I remember that my brother in law has a dumpster at his warehouse and that's just right up the road. I call him and offer him a small monthly amount to let me take my trash there. He laughs and says my trash won't affect his bill and I can dump it there for free. That's perfect! I'm so excited - not only have I found a way not to pay the extortion fees from the garbage company but I am going to be getting rid of my trash for free. Ha! A few more days go by and the Island King says "The trash can is overflowing now and it's starting to stink - what are you going to do about that?" I tell him about talking to his brother and being able to use his dumpster for free and that he needs to take the trash up there. He looks at me like I'm crazy and says "I'm not putting that nasty garbage in my truck" (he has a Forerunner so it's a more of an SUV with an enclosed bed than a pick-up truck) He goes on to tell me that he warned me that clogging up the poop shoot would be nasty, stinky business and that I should have paid the damn bill and that since I won't pay the bill the trash is my problem, not his. I tell him that he should be ashamed of himself for just giving in to the extortion the trash company is pulling and that he should be working with me on this instead of just saying Pay the damn bill over and over again. He shakes his head, tells me I'm crazy and says "Pay the damn bill." I won't do it. I will not pay that outrageous price. A few more days go by and the trash can is really overflowing and definitely stinking and I realize that the Island King is serious and he's not going to haul off the trash. I look at the trash, look at my nice clean minivan, look at the trash some more and decide that I don't want that trash in my vehicle either. Well crap. I call my brother in law again and ask if I can borrow his work truck after work hours that evening to haul my trash up to his dumpster. He laughs some more and tells me that he's been hearing about my trash problem from the Island King and yes I can borrow the truck but that I probably should just pay the bill. "I won't do it", I tell him. Now I should mention that my brother in law is the Sandman. He has the county contract to clean all of the beaches in our county and along with cleaning the sand comes emptying every trash can along the beach twice a day. He's in the trash business so he has a pick-up truck for hauling trash and a dumpster to put it in. Why should I pay the trash company their extortion money when I have a trash man in the family? Sandman pays a guy to make the trash run so I decide to offer to pay that guy to stop by my house twice a week and pick up my trash. No thanks the guy tells me - he already hates making the trash run and is not interested in picking up any more than he already does. I'd have to pay him a lot to convince him and wasn't the point behind all of this that I'm not paying extortion prices for trash pickup? Well damn, who knew it would be so hard to find someone to pick up the trash? Fine, I'll borrow the truck and do it myself. So I go to the warehouse and Sandman and the Island King are working on a tractor. (If you can call drinking beer and looking at the tractor working LOL) They both snicker and Sandman hands me the keys to the truck. He then goes on to tell me the clutch sticks a little and the brakes aren't great but that I should be fine since I'm not going too far. I stick my nose up in the air, make a few remarks about standing by my principles and walk over to the truck. Did I tell you this trucks only purpose is for picking up beach trash? Did you know that dead fish, half empty beer cans and a lot of other really disgusting stuff is what you find in a beach trash can? Well let me tell you that this truck is the most disgusting thing I've ever smelled in my life. There is no heat or AC so you have to ride with the windows down and even with no trash in the back the whole truck reeks. Inside is sandy and messy and smells almost as bad as the bed. I manage to gag my way into the truck and drive it to my house without puking. Now all I have to do is put my trash in the truck and take it back to the warehouse and throw it in the dumpster. Except that my trash can is too heavy to lift so I can't just dump it in the truck. And several of the trash bags have busted and the can smells almost as bad as the truck. And I have to knock the can over to get the trash out since I can't reach the bottom which means I have to then pick it all up by hand. The whole disgusting process took almost an hour. By the time I got the trash to the dumpster and handed the keys back to Sandman I wasn't sure if I was going to throw up or cry - or both. Sandman and the Island King are both laughing so hard they can barely talk and the Island King says "So you're going to do this twice a week?" They go on to give me this long lecture about the mafia being involved in the trash business in big cities and that they get away with it because trash disposal is nasty business and there aren't a lot of options for getting rid of trash and they can charge whatever they want because extortion or not - if you clog up the poop shoot things get nasty. Damn. I have to admit that they are right and that the new rates are extremely outrageous but I don't ever want to drive that stinking trash truck again. So I came home, went online and paid the $#%*@# bill. Tonight the Island King will roll the trash can to the road and in the morning the trash truck will empty my can and the Oldest Island Boy will pull it back to the house. I've learned my lesson. If I want to get rid of the trash without having to do it myself I have to pay the bill - even if it's highway robbery. I hate it when the Island King is right but he was dead on this time - Clogging up the poop shoot is really nasty business LOL
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