I missed the trash men today. For some reason, they don't seem to stick to a schedule.
I can't put my trash out the night before, cause I don't get home from work until 1AM. Although I'm wide awake, I don't think my neighbors would appreciate hearing me drag my trash cans out to the curb in the middle of the night.
If I wake up early to put out the cans, then the men never come until later in the day. And that's usually after a lot of the trash has since blown off the top to find other living arrangements.
If I hold off and wait to put out my trash till the afternoon, then I seem to miss them altogether.
Nothing screams failure louder than standing at the end of your driveway with full cans, while all your neighbors are in the process of taking in their empty ones.
Why does this happen? Unless a person has had a big party, I think we all pretty much put out the same amount of trash every week. Which should require about the same amount of time to pick it up. Let's just say for the sake of argument that some people may have out of town guests staying with them, who have now created extra trash to be collected. But there will be other people who have gone out of town to visit their loved ones, and won't put out any trash that week since they're away, so those two factors should cancel each other out.
At first I considered that maybe since picking up trash is probably pretty boring, they alternated their starting points each week, to give them some variety. But then a routine would eventually emerge, and you could plan accordingly. "Ah, yes, the guys are starting on the other end of the development this week, so I know they won't get here until later this afternoon", you would find yourself thinking as you looked at the calendar on your refrigerator. But there seems to be no rhyme or reason to their schedules.
Another possibility is that perhaps they pass by each street, stopping only where trash cans are obviously missing, to make their work loads lighter. That they are counting on the fact that most of the residents probably won't complain because they don't have the time to do it and they secretly blame themselves for missing the trash men anyway.
Personally, I think the trash guys all gather at the end of the day and laugh themselves silly telling each other who got 'left out' this week. It's conceivable to me that they even take pictures of the jilted clients who stand at the end of their driveways in disbelief. Catching us scratching our heads and looking back and forth, up and down the street, wondering how in the world we missed trash day yet again. Capturing our most vulnerable moments while we wait there motionless, as if expecting the Arch Angel of Trash to descend from the heavens above and scoop up our collection of refuse. After work, the trash men probably put these photos up on the walls of their office to relive the moments whenever they get a chance. "Look at this one!", one would say pointing to his favorite victim. "Remember Mrs. L in her pink robe and size 9 slippers when she missed us for the second week in a row? She stood out there cursing for 20 minutes!" They would all be doubled over in laughter. "I got that beat!", another would chime in, carefully removing a worn and tattered photograph from his wallet to share with the others. "I waited around the corner and out of sight till this guy Remo drug out all of his trash one week, and after he went back into the house, I picked up all the trash on his street... except HIS!" Gasping with laughter he would continue while passing around the photo to eager listeners. "Then he comes back out... and take a look at his face when he sees that his trash is still sitting there! You can tell that he is wondering if he is losing his mind and must have put it out after we already went by!" Another dumpster devil jumps into the conversation, "That's classic, my friend! Isn't he that cop with a Vulvi?" The guy holing the picture can only nod, since he is laughing so hard.
Yes... that must be it. We are simply today's entertainment and tomorrow's trophy. We are unwitting participants in the game of trash collection. Helpless victims in an unwitnessed crime. Hostages without hope of a mediator. Forever doomed to remain dateless for the prom and unpicked to play dodge ball in the 5th grade. Passed over for a promotion, and unnominated for a Vivi.
Holding on to the glimmer of hope that maybe next week... you'll be one of the lucky ones bringing in an empty trash can.