My wife and son, at some point, elected me as the official house “Garbage” man although I do not remember ever campaigning.

With my wife, it has been that way from the beginning. At first, we would leave the house together on our way to work and I would carry out the garbage. Once I got tired of waiting for her to get ready in the morning, I would leave without her and I took the garbage with me. After I took the job at the Post Office, my work schedule got fluctuating and crazy. For a few years, I would come home from work and find a garbage bag sitting outside of our apartment door. She had placed it there, for me to carry downstairs and out to the garbage. For the past decade or more, I have worked the night shift and I take the garbage out with me on my way to work.

For the past couple of days, I have been sick. I have barely been leaving the house. They have been leaving, but letting the garbage pile up. You would think one of them would think to take it out with them, especially on one of those days when the garbage pail was full that they replaced the bag but left the full bag sitting next to it. I live with two idiots.

My garbage torture does not end in my apartment. The family that has lived below me for the last few years is garbage crazy too. We had six garbage pails when they moved in, which was three pails for each of us. Soon after they moved in, the matriarch of their family caught me while I was either coming and going from our shared house and suggested that we get more pails. I told her that three was enough for me. I left it unsaid that if they needed more, they could buy them. They did need more. They generate a ton of garbage. So much so that they frequently do not leave me my third pail to use, they fill mine in addition to the five or six that they have. They also drive me crazy by throwing trash on top of the recyclables that I have put into one of the pails. Other than that one request for me to split the purchase price of new pails, we have never discussed the garbage. I just look at what they have done, shake my head and sigh.

The people downstairs like to bring their pails out to the curb early the night before it is to be collected. I get home from work early in the morning and bring mine out at that time, rather than leave it out by the curb overnight. No big deal that they never bring my pails out while they are doing their own. Not only do I not have a problem with that, but I will bring their pails out if when I get home from work and see that they have forgotten. The empty pails are what they are passive/aggressive about. Why do they leave my empty pails in the street while they are bringing back their own? Rather than reciprocate and lower myself to their level, I always bring in all of the pails when I see them empty on the curb. It is no big deal. The pails are empty, and they can be stacked before being carried if there are more than four of them. Can my downstairs neighbors possibly think that I would be annoyed that they brought my pails in? I think not.

Better yet, the empty pails will sit out by the curb forever if left up to the two lazy asses in my family. They will walk past those empty pails day after day, just waiting for their house “Garbage” man to bring them back in.

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