The Star-Herald

Deck the drive with gobs of garbage

Talking trash this week.

Call it rubbish, garbage, excess, or the midden heap, when you have people you have trash. This holiday season is no exception. There will be the 15 pounds of paper, bows and ribbons that were torn from boxes and bins of stuff. Any modern new appliance will have countless bits of plastic tape and styrofoam wedges holding things in place. Often after unwrapping the present, the pile of wrappings is enough to grow another machine.

Take a moment and think kindly of the guys who come by on collection mornings to haul it all away. These crews wrassle, throttle, punch and whip the various bags and bins into some sort of order and haul them away to the dump. Ever wonder how Santa knows what to bring? He talks to the trashman. That’s why he can tell someone needs some long underwear or orange socks with purple stripes. A quick word with the big guy, and you have the perfect gift sitting under the tree.

Trees, having outlived their decorative purpose, are a different problem. Some will flip them out over a snowbank where they become delis, bars, and hootchie-cootchie joints for the denizens of the forest. If you look carefully, you will see the rabbit doing the cha-cha with the skunk in the wee morning hours. Your friendly wood chipper also relishes the trees and can take a six foot spruce and turn it into sawdust in a moment. Goodbye, tree.

And then there is more wrapping paper. Some will try to salvage the stuff. There is always a youngster being admonished to carefully separate tape from paper and fold up the pieces to use again the following year. It remains the power of the trash crew to save people from such disasters. If people reused their paper, Marden’s and the dollar stores would be in sad shape. Ever wonder why there are so many constipation commercials? Yep, wrapping paper. Too much goes a long way. Your valiant trashman saves you from a far more serious problem.

So be kind to the guys on the truck. Coffee, donuts, and a kind word will help them to celebrate the day. They do not remove aunts, uncles, cousins large and small, nor do they haul away ex-spouses or idiots who cannot find their heads in the sand. But the guys on the trucks know trash. And with a grunt, groan and a few choice words, they can make your day a bit merrier. Thanks, Gil’s and Star City. Long live the trashman.

Orpheus Allison is a photojournalist living in The County who graduated from UMPI and earned a master of liberal arts degree from the University of North Carolina. He began his journalism career at WAGM television later working in many different areas of the US. After 20 years of television he changed careers and taught in China and Korea.

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