I've heard stories for years about cleaning the beach trash and one of the things that comes up in almost every story is about the trash guys losing it over something stupid and then throwing a small hissy fit on the beach.
I've always wondered how that happens. You do a job day in and day out and it seems like you'd get used to the stupid things that happen.
The Island King tells me it's the heat, the hard work, the "juice" in the bottom of the bags and the smell. He says it gets to you sometimes and then you have a freak out over something stupid.
Well, the other morning we were out emptying the cans and I walked up to a can and tried to lift the bag out.
It wouldn't budge.
I tried to lift the whole can out of the box, thinking maybe the bag was stuck on something but couldn't lift the can either.
The Island King came over to help me and we tugged and pulled and were finally able to lift the bag just a little.
Which is when the bottom of the bag gave out. Trash and trash juice went everywhere - including all over us.
And then we could see what the problem was.
Someone put 4 whole (never even cut open) watermelons in the trash cans.
4 watermelons in one trash can. Really?
It took a while but we managed to pick up all of the trash, minus the watermelon, and get it into a new bag.
We tossed the bag and the watermelons in the back of the truck and moved on to the next can.
Only to find the exact same thing at the next can.
4 more whole watermelons and a bag that busted everywhere when we tried to pick it up.
I was on my knees in the sand, rebagging dirty diapers, food containers, cans and every other disgusting thing you can imagine and was not happy at all.
Who puts 4 watermelons in one trash can?!!!
On to the next can we go and as unbelievable as it sounds - same thing.
4 watermelons, a busted bag and 10 minutes on my knees scraping up trash.
I was so mad I could barely see straight and thinking pretty nasty thoughts about whoever put the watermelons in the cans.
I was covered in trash juice, slinging watermelons into the back of the truck and telling the Island King that we needed to find out who was doing this because I had something to say to them.
There was a kids day camp going on down by the water and the Island King suggested that maybe they were using the watermelons for something and then throwing them away.
But he was also very insistent that he go talk to them instead of me doing it.
Fine, I wasn't really in the position to talk to anyone about this without pinching their heads off so he went to talk to them and I went on to the next can.
And wouldn't you know it - this 4th can ALSO had 4 watermelons in it.
Which is when I absolutely lost it. I was slinging watermelons into the back of the truck, cussing like a sailor and throwing one of those trash man hissy fits I'd heard about.
The Island King returned and said it wasn't the day camp people so I started telling him that we needed signs that said DO NOT THROW WATERMELONS IN TRASH CANS!!!!!
I was serious but he just found the whole thing amusing and called me Keith.
Keith used to work for my BIL and was known for throwing epic fits so when the Island King called me Keith I realized I needed to calm down and continue on.
Later, we were back at the warehouse and he was telling his brother about my watermelon fit and of course both of them were laughing pretty hard.
My BIL said "Well, if you were staying in a condo, took some watermelons down to the beach and then wanted to throw them away what would you do with them?"
When you say it like that it makes sense.
They threw their trash away (which a SHOCKING number of people don't) and probably didn't want to leave the watermelons next to the trash cans because that wasn't throwing them away.
Later, after a shower and time to cool off I realized that the Island King and his brother are right - it's perfectly normal to have a freak out over something stupid doing this job.
And I apologize to the people I cussed in my head.
But next time, please leave the watermelons on the ground NEXT to the trash can instead of putting them inside. The person emptying the cans will REALLY appreciate it.