The Garbage Man and A Weiner

First things first…we have a weiner…ahem…I mean a winner for yesterday’s giveaway! 

Vonda over at The Little Egg Farm was comment number “73”, picked by the Random Integer Generator.  I wish I knew how to print that little screen they give you but here’s what it spit out: Timestamp: 2008-08-09 05:15:34 UTC.  Yeah Vonda, I know you and your hubby will enjoy the book, Red, White and Drunk All Over by Natalie MacLean.  It’s a great read!  Please email me with an address I can send it to.

Now onto other things….

Dear Garbage-Recycling-Truck-Driving-Sanitation Engineer-Guy:

Thank you garbage-recycling-truck guy for picking up our weekly trash (sometimes).  I’m sure you did not grow up aspiring to be a garbage-picker-upper-guy.  However, it is a city job, so you probably have a good salary and great benefits.  Maybe I’m just jealous.  I don’t feel like I’m frothing over your job or anything but maybe a part of me, deep-down, somewhere, feels the pangs as a green-eyed monster for such a cush gig.

But lately I’ve been having some issues with you, it seems the happy-happy-joy-joy has left our once good and decent relationship.  You know, the one where I put out the trash and you pick it up.

See, every Friday after you swing by to pick up the garbage, there’s always a little trash souvenir left for me in the yard.  Sometimes it’s just a silly-old, crushed, plastic bottle of Vodka or some ripped to shreds plastic bag, full of disgusting bathroom trash.  I never really know what it’s going to be so I guess it’s kind of exciting.  However, it’s absolutely and positively NEVER my family’s garbage.  Where do you get this rogue trash?  Do you drag it down from another house or do you save it for me on your seat and toss it out?  Did I fail you somewhere?  Cause you some ill-well?

But still, is it really necessary to dump other folks garbage in my yard?  Does it give you power  Mr.Garbage Man?  Do you feel you are stickin’ it to the man when you do this?  Did it make you feel all giddy and silly inside when you dumped that half crushed hamster house onto my lawn?  I don’t have any rodents as pets; why did you leave it for me?  But maybe it’s the empty-stinky-cat-food cans you leave rolling around in the gutter.  Does that give you the superhero-esque power trip you so obviously crave?  Maybe, we could call you Garba-Geebo-Mandito-Man?  Would that make you feel better?

How about this, I will leave extra garbage out for you to throw all over my yard.  It will satisfy your garbage-throwin’ power-trippin’-issues and I will get to pick up trash that totally doesn’t gross me out because it will be mine. Kay?

I promise to increase your holiday cash gift and maybe I’ll start contributing to your pension plan too!  Some weeks I’ll try to not even put out the garbage because I don’t want to burden you with pushing all those levers in the truck.  See it as your personal vacation from my house.  You’ll probably get off work like 3.2 seconds earlier because you didn’t have to stop here.  You can thank me later for that.

Somedays I might even make you breakfast and stand out on the curb and serve it to you.  I mean I want to make myself more memorable to you.  I want you to like me so that you stop tossing my cans on their sides and running them over with your big-bad-garbage-man-truck.  It’s only happened twice so I’m guessing it’s nothing personal.

I’m really incredibly thankful for all you do.  I don’t know, maybe I’m attracted to your machismo-ness when you show me who’s boss.  You know what I mean….when you don’t stop here to pick up the trash but some how garbage ends up on my lawn anyway.  Yeah, I love that.  You do have all the power Mr. Garbage Man.  Maybe I’m just secretly in love with you.

So, ummm, keep up the good work and let me know how I could make your life easier.  I’d really appreciate it.

I’m also sorry I had to call you out, but it’s getting tiresome.


Noble Pig

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  1. MsMVNJ 1

    Too funny! Our garbage guys have this monstrous truck that reaches out and lifts up the dumpster and turns it over in the truck – don’t even have to get out of the truck – even if his aim is bad and the contents of the dumpster spill into the street!

  2. Philly 2

    Our trash guys come way too early !

  3. WOW either your garbage guy must also work in the New York suburbs, or else his twin is our garbage guy!! Amazing.

    I’m surprised yours doesn’t also throw recycling-bin tantrums, like pointedly leaving the recyclables where he found them if–gasp!!–we’ve neglected to remove a cap from an empty bottle of Diet Coke, or–even worse!–skipped rinsing out a can.

  4. …and why does he always run the compacter in my driveway? The garbage juice drips out. Gag. Happy Saturday;)

  5. Bunny 5

    I know this has to be very frustrating for you but girl your a riot! I love it when you get like this!

  6. yikes! sorry he has to make such an effort. maybe he’s just salty because he doesn’t have an automated truck like other towns do.

    my only complaint with our garbage peeps is that they should put some WD-40 on the brakes. the truck stops every 9 feet and makes an ungodly racket. shrieking, squealing brakes. at 6am. help me.

  7. Sandie 7


    This post makes me appreciate my garbage men – they never forget to stop by and I’ve never found trash on our lawn, ever. Perhaps I should bake them some cookies.

  8. Leslie 8

    You so crack me up! I too get their “gifts” in my yard. It must be their way of showing their affection!LOL

  9. Marcy 9

    I can kind of empathize with you on that one Cathy. Our trash picker-upper seems to be related to your trash picker-upper. Only our trucks pick up our specially designed trash cans and pitch them over the side of said truck, then plunk them down again in our yard. But trash has blown out of said truck before and its just – nasty. I don’t like dealing (read touching ) our trash let alone someone elses!

  10. When my kids were little, they liked to watch the garbage truck out the window as it picked up our trash. They got such a big kick out of it. One day as we watched from the window, I saw the driver deliberately toss his empty cigarette pack into my yard. WTF? You’re driving a *garbage* truck, man! It’s not as though you have far to go to throw it in a proper receptacle. He could even have just kept his trash in the cab of the truck until he was done with his route and getting out, then tossed it with the other trash. People who litter really piss me off. Garbage men who litter even though they’re carrying the freakin’ trash with them make me want to do serious violence. I am thankful that there are people to do the job, and I know that this is not the only area where people have lost all pride in their work and doing their job well.

    We could have trash service out here if we wanted. Instead we burn or recycle any trash we can and the rest goes into the dumpster dh’s family keeps on their construction lot. There really isn’t much that can’t be recycled or burned, especially now that I’ve found a great recycling center in Wichita for all the items our small town recycling center doesn’t handle.

  11. LOL Sorry Garba-Geebo-Mandito-Man has been so messy. I hope you to can get back on the same page with your relationship.

    The Dream Squad is part of the year of a million dreams promotion. They select people randomly and give them prizes; from special ears to lifetime Disney vacations. You can also get a chance by mailing postcards.

  12. Leah Q 12

    priceless lol – and to think your hard earned tax dollars are used to provide you with extra garbage not yours is apprehensible.

    I live in a small city an hour north of NYC, the big one….and am shocked at what people throw out and leave on the sidewalks for no one to pick up… including used diapers, loads of broken beer bottles (great for when I walk the dog), spit among other lovely items…I am embarrassed to see/live in the city of mine…and they even have a ‘business improvement’ which picks up my garbage on a DAILY basis… you would think people would actually use the generously provided garbage cans in and around this city of hell….

    I hear you loud and clear…and people could help a lot by making sure their garbage is properly in the bags so they don’t come spewing out onto your lawn…

    you know what? I am going to copy and paste what I just wrote here and share it with our new mayor…. thanks Noble Pig, I am empowered by your story!

  13. Sassy 13

    Living in a very tiny town as i do, many of us bring our own garbage to the landfill, but after this entertaining post, i am reconsidering this decision.

    I want a garbageman! (other than a husband) I can go for weeks and not have the excitement your garbageman brings you weekly!

    Just too funny!

  14. Cheryl 14

    Oh dear. I think that crushed plastic vodka bottle may have been ours…. ;)

    Perhaps I’ll thank our pick-up gentlemen for at least simply scattering our OWN trash around the perimeter of our can area.

    Have a great weekend!

  15. Trisha 15

    This one made me smile – even with my headache!

    Our garbage guys are good and pretty friendly too. They always wave and stop the truck before almost running me over while I am walking!

  16. Teri 16

    Garba Geebo Mandito Man! Ha Ha snort! Sometimes when I laugh really hard I do the accidental snort… my daughter gets really embarrassed but then she starts cracking up and we both end up laughing! Now she’ll want to know why I just snorted and probably read this too! Our trash was picked up yesterday too and we are now in our new home…. new trash guys… and it’s been one month now, they do the same thing! Every week a new.. ahem… treasure! Things that I KNOW we never buy and EVERY week the same thing goes on in my head… did they just randomly throw this out here to show the new chick who we are.

    My daughter Emily helped me bring the “emptied” cans back yesterday… there were new findings, so I decided to show someone finally… I said, “Emily look, this isn’t ours! And that’s not either” She said, “Maybe they didn’t like you leaving the lid up a little with extra trash it it!”

    Maybe? Maybe they are punishing me because I won’t pay the extra money for the bigger can? So every week they throw someone else’s trash on the ground for me to pick up, because it’s never mine! Now after you’re story, I’M really not going to consider the bigger can… big meanie trash picker upper guys!

  17. Stephanie 17

    Twice a week I bring my trash can to the curb for the garbage man to take care of. Twice a week they pick up the trash can and dump the trash into their truck. Twice a week our trash can is left UPSIDE DOWN.

  18. Karly 18

    I wonder if your garbage man leaves someone else’s garbage at anyone else’s house? Maybe he’s cheating on you. You never know.

  19. Maybe he leaves those things as presents. No? No… probably not!

  20. Susan 20

    Wow, you’re sounding a little pious there, Noble Pig! “I’m sure you did not grow up aspiring to be a garbage-picker-upper-guy”…What kind of comment is that? Ever hear the “walk a mile in my shoes” saying? Maybe you should talk to your City Fathers about the truck design. I’ve seen trash flying out of garbage trucks…is that the driver’s fault?

  21. Egghead 21

    Yikes, I almost didn’t want to comment following Susan. I kind of feel the hair being singed off my neck by that comment……

    BUT here goes. Thank you so much for the book! We will certainly love the read. Can’t wait…will email you with my address.

    Oh and garbage here out in the tiny land of nowhere is taken to our local refuse station but there is garbage service. We just chose to take our own because we recycle and they also have a great recycle station. But more than the garbage truck guys leaving a mess is the people in general who still toss their trash out the car windows onto our beautiful countryside. I never have understood people who will not wait to throw it away properly. Thank God we still have prison community service that picks up the roadside trash and people who adopt sections of the roads to care for or who knows how much trash we would be swimming in.

  22. Ewww! A crushed hamster house on your lawn!?! I think you definitely have a passive-aggressive garbage man on your hands. It’s totally Seinfeld!!

  23. ELRA 23

    How funny you post this issues. I get so irritated when the garbage man just put the garbage bin or recycles anywhere he want to. Sometime I found them almost rolling to the middle of the street. He also doesn’t seem care, if a little trash spilling here and there. I normally use surgical gloves to pick up those yucky stuff. I don’t really have any option!

  24. Cathy 24


    The point here is people need to take pride in their job no matter what that job is.  The sanitation employees get great pay and benefits for a job that does not require a higher education.  For example, the educational requirements for school teachers are much more stringent and they have to fight for every penny they get. 

    There was a time when there was more than one sanitation worker per truck and they made sure the street was clean.  If you feel it is the job of the city to keep your streets clean then this sentiment should be passed down through those administering the job (the garbage man).  Trash service is not free, we pay for it.  I expect a job well done. 

    As consumers if we continue to accept less and less then that’s what we will get, my standards are not that low and they never will be.

  25. Country living agrees with me, my hubby takes the trash to the dump and we are litter-free. Oh wait? What’s that junk up by the mailbox on the highway? “Trash truck debris from the neighbor’s pick-up.” ARGH!

  26. Alisa 26

    I have not laughed that hard in a while. I hope this letter clears up your garbage issues. We went through a 3 week period where our garbage man put a hole into our can every week. Good times.

  27. mag 27

    I would be furious if my garbage guy didn’t destroy my vodka bottle evidence completely. I mean, we’re a team, Mr. Garbage Guy! What would the neighbors think if they knew?? I appreciate all you do, don’t let me down!


    Here’s to you and your guy. I completely understand his importance.

  28. ALF 28

    I always wonder what the recycle picker uppers thing of us – our recycle bins are full of nothing but beer cans and bottles and other containers which once held some kind of alcohol.

  29. Laura 29

    i was gonna compliment you on your lovely verbage but MPM made me lose it with her garbage juice!
    I can so relate
    HUGS Laura

  30. very well said. I hear it to the tune of the Budweiser commercial – “Here’s to you Mr. Garbage Picker Upper”

  31. Boy, Cathy, you’re sure catching some flack, from just wanting someone to do his job correctly! I live in a rural area where I have to haul off my own trash. You can bet I pick it all up and I don’t get paid for doing it. I even pick up trash that other people leave behind in public areas. Public restrooms are one of my Pet Peeves. You know what I mean. If they trash the public area, can you imagine their homes. I wonder what that truck drivers house looks like?

  32. HoneyB 32

    Hey Cathy – no trash issues here! If it weren’t for your vineyards you could move to the good ole Northern NY area – we have a worse issues with hoodlum kids blowing up mailboxes. Seriously! My parent’s mailbox had a homemade bomb in it! Little ole rural amish area and we have a bombed mailbox.

  33. Erin 33

    I think he’s seriously in love with you. These are gifts. He’s a garbage-picking-up-man. there’s probably not much room in the truck for flowers or chocolates or promises he doesn’t intend to keep, so he gives what he can.

    It’s all for love, I tell you.

  34. Marjie 34

    I am thankful for our old fashioned garbage trucks with 2 guys on it, even if they do drive down the middle of the street on Monday mornings and make you fear for the beauty of your car if you’re travelling in the other direction, because it’s not a 3 lane road.

  35. I laughed so hard I snorted and woke the Babies up. This reminds me of those Budweiser radio commericals of the “Real American Heros.”

  36. Hey, I never thought of leaving a little extra MY trash for them to throw around, that would be better…

  37. Could be you have a pack rat. No!. Then it must be him. Our garbage man never does stuff like that. He is magic. He makes our expensive rubber maid garbage cans disappear, nevert to be seen again.

  38. blair 38

    You are lucky, I get trash from anyone that walks down the street…and remains from the garbage man.
    If you have a mac, check out a free application called skitch for screen captures! There is one for windows called snag it for purchase or use alt + print screen.

  39. How funny! I think they secretly love watching trash fly everywhere but the truck. My personal favorite is when they empty the can only halfway!

  40. tj 40

    …Oh Miss Noble Pig, you so need to stop the holiday cash gift. Seriously. You’re obviously too kind for the likes of this fellow. I would call the trash company’s office before I would approach the actual trash, I mean, sanitation engineer… ;o)

    …Good luck!

    …Blessings… :o)

  41. tj 41

    …Oh and I forgot…”Congrat’s” to ‘The Little Egg Farm’ on winning! Way to go girl! :oD

  42. Outstanding letter! “rogue garbage..” hahahaha! I have a ball writing snarky letters last year during nablopomo and completely enjoyed it. I say stand out there with cash gift in hand and wave it at him next time he comes by. See what happens.

  43. So true! Not too long ago there was a big shake down with our city employees who were caught by a local news team sleeping on the job. And not just one or two guys, either. Since then, the pay and bennies they get have been quite a big deal and retirement packages are being questioned. I say let it rip. But you’re probably beginning to realize that I feel that way about everything, right?

  44. Kate 44

    This is your garbage man speaking:
    I am drunk with power and my love for you.
    There. I have said it.

  45. Dee 45

    I’m not sure I have a garbage man; I’m thinking elves. They’re lovely, but I do keep hoping for shoes.

  46. How is it we have the same garbage man when we live on separate coasts?

    My garbage man does EXACTLY the same thing. But I’m not going to tell you what I’ve found when he’s left. At one point I saw something the garbage man had left on my lawn that caused me to run screaming into the house. I was ready to move, it was that gross.

  47. ” Sometimes it’s just a silly-old, crushed, plastic bottle of Vodka…”

    But does it still have some alcohol in it? Because maybe then it’s a gift? A warped, disgusting, crusty gift, but still?

  48. dlyn 48

    Our recycle pick-up guy [separate company from the grbage here in the wilds of rural NY] is one of my favorite people – he takes all my stuff every week. Not everyone is so lucky – many get the accusatory large neon chartruese sticker that lets everyone know they didn’t rinse enough or tried to sneak in a phone book on a non-phone book week. We [and by “we” I mean my husband] haul our own garbage, so I can only bitch at Larry if something isn’t right.

  49. It seems to me that we get the same service from these men, on this side of the border as well…

  50. Paula 50

    Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Somehow I’m no longer disturbed by my garbage man that likes to wake us up with the BEEP BEEP BEEP on his truck at 5:00 every Wednesday morning. The bit about leaving someone else’s bathroom trash on your lawn kind of made me gag. A lot. Eeewwwuuu.

  51. I’m not sure I have a garbage man; I’m thinking elves. They’re lovely, but I do keep hoping for shoes.


    Our rubbish collectors don’t tend to cause much mischief when it comes to their actual rubbish collecting duties. The wolf whistling at every woman that walks past though? Yeah, they could do without that.

  52. Cassie 52

    This is why you need to move to the middle of nowhere! We have no garbage pickup. Well, ok, we don’t have neighbors either so if there’s trash in the yard it’s most likely the dog. Or a stray wild animal or something.

  53. Flea 53

    Please tell me you’ve complained to the powers that be?

    And for a moment I thought Mag (above) wrote, “I completely understand his impotence.”

  54. Kristen 54

    You are hysterical. Print this off and put it on your trash can! I’d love to see his reaction.
    OK – maybe not a wise idea. Never mind ;)

  55. Mrs. L 55

    Oh man, hysterical! I do know about “rouge” trash though…we are in townhomes and folks line up their garbage cans on our side of the driveway…we always have “presents” leftover (this past week it was a broom).

  56. Tipper 56

    Congrats to Vonda!!

    I bet if you cook him breakfast-he’d even come in and carry the trash out for you!!

  57. Elle 57

    Yuck! I hope This has stopped, or stops soon1 Other people’s garbage? That’s just disgusting.

  58. Oh, that’s the pits! We don’t have garbage pick up here in my tiny town, you buy a sticker to put on your car an then you haul your own trash and recylables down to the Transfer Station.

    But my neighbor kept having trash from the “rowdy neighbor” blow over into her yard – really disgusting stuff. She has three little boys and they kept asking what “this” or “that” was and it was not something she wanted to explain! She finally had a fence built on that side of her yard.

  59. “Garba-Geebo-Mandito-Man” had me rolling. Also it made me want to re-read Skippy Jon Jones to my kids…can’t imagine why! Oh, I’ve missed you, Darling Cathy!

  60. Alanna 60

    “Somedays I might even make you breakfast and stand out on the curb and serve it to you.”

    Okay, this totally made me LOL.

  61. Julie Carr 61

    That’s from raccoons. Always rant at the proper person. Friendly neighborhood raccoon would leave a chewed up, formerly baby poop filled diaper at my back door. It was so regular I initially thought it was a smart alecky human. I spread flour all over the steps-sure enough, raccoon paw prints everywhere. Garbage man is only going to pick up the garbage can and what’s in it. Just thought you’d like to know.


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