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Let me explain this ramble

About two years ago, the city in which I reside decided that they would begin pressing the residents to purchase garbage bins that were two gallons smaller than usual. The reported reason: The union representing the garbage men had expressed that the cans were often too heavy. Therefore, any garbage can that was bigger than 32 gallons would not be emptied and would receive a warning tag, a neon green sticker. The second warning would be orange.

It wasn’t long after the royal decree that a local newspaper reporter dug a little deeper. Sure enough, it fell to what is the common denominator in most, if not all, decisions in our township these days: money.

Essentially, each bin you place at the road must have a city-issued tag on it in order to be picked up. Now, in my case, with the reduction in can size, it became necessary to use three cans instead of only two, therefore, giving the city an additional $2.60. Combine this with what had become an incredibly obvious attempt by the city to begin attracting and building banks, restaurants, and other such establishments to what is about a half-mile strip of road. In all, at last count, there are at least five banks, eight or nine trendy restaurants, a Wal-mart, K-Mart, and so much more all in this tiny space. From the sky, this must  appear densely obtuse since our town is so small.

So anyway, after reading the newspaper article, I decided to send the following note to the City Council. I did receive an email response saying it had been received and read and that they “appreciated my concern for the welfare of the city residents an my willingness to be involved in the efforts of my community.” Whatever. I never heard anything else. In the end, they won. I use 32 gallon garbage cans. I was unwilling to become as Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout who would not take the garbage out (Shel Silverstein).

By the way, Leroy Street is one of the oldest streets in the town. It passes right through the quaintest portion of our fair village. Imagine my sadness…



While Trav’ling ‘Long the Leroy Way

While trav’ling ‘long the Leroy way
One early Friday morn,
My eyes beheld with great dismay
Its residents forlorn.

For strewn and scattered ‘midst my path
Were tags, orange and green
Heralding the trash man’s wrath.
I shan’t forget the scene.

Unto my left and to my right
Were bins and rubbish cans
Adorned in neon warning light
Foretelling future bans.

I sighed, to my relief at first
‘Cause this sight made it clear
Of criminals, I’m not the worst.
It, too, had happened here.

For so it was just Thursday eve
My chest heaved forth a breath
As I fell down that night to grieve.
My bins were marked for death.

Waste Management had placed a note
Upon my bins of black.
“Replace this with a thirty-two,
Or ne’er we shall be back.”

“Your thirty-four is much to do!”
These tags, they cried to all.
“You must obtain a thirty-two
‘Fore we return to haul.”

Embarrassed, but astonished that
My bins were marked as such.
“Three garbage sacks and ne’er they’re fat
And strength, it takes not much.”

I soon began to contemplate
What really was at stake.
“Perhaps there’s more to this dread fate
Than what mine eyes may make.”

“I’d bet one’s spine is not the root,”
I started to surmise.
“Most often it comes down to loot.
And lo, ‘tis no surprise.”

Then ‘cross my desk arrived a page
From the Tri-County Times.
A “Mr. Aro” clearly said
At stake were Fenton’s dimes.

He did acknowledge safety first,
But that’s not all I read.
He did not mask the city’s thirst.
“Our budget’s tight” he said.

“Our city’s solid waste account,
It is a little short.”
“Issues of revenue amount,”
Ms. Troppens did report.

My humble geist was soon restrained,
And wakened full my scorn.
Fenton, again, had done its best
To cause its kin to mourn.

“Why pay for two removal tags
When I can pay for three?
This present economic lag
Is no concern to me.”

“It’s only four a gallon, see.
Tomorrow ‘twill be five.
My city knows what’s best for me
To help me to survive.”

“Although it was that I could fit
Three bags inside a can,
It serves them well and doesn’t hurt
To blame the garbage man.”

“No longer can it be this way
Upon the third of June.
“Put two in one,” they smile and say
The day is coming soon!”

“So buy another can to store
That solitary sack.
And if you’ve not the money more,
Kids piggy bank to crack.”

And so as every week of old
Though this one in a huff,
Forth to the street my bins I rolled
With barely any stuff.

And sure enough, when I came home
Though light as light can be,
A visit from the sticker gnome
My bins confessed to me.

“Your thirty-four is much too big”
These tags, their siren call,
“A thirty-two, the proper rig,
Lest we refuse to haul.”

Apparently my thirty-four
Which barely weighed a breeze,
Caused wretched backs to twist and jive
And soreness in the knees.

The sticker made it very clear
In words much less than true,
“This can’s a hazard to the man
Who drives this truck to you.”

Please lend an ear and listen well
Dear friends at City Hall.
Waste Management should sit a spell
And hearken to this call.

Perhaps you should consider how
This meets much bigger scenes.
Perhaps a thirty-four can be
A manageable means.

Let’s change the rule by simple vote.
Save stickers for a crime.
And while we wait, a mental note:
Find stronger men this time.

Waste Management and City Hall
Lend ear and listen well.
Take care that you don’t add a pall
Upon the folks who dwell

Within the city gates and give
To Caesar what is due.
Times are tough enough to live
Without this “trash” from you.

And rest assured I’m prob’ly not
The only one with voice.
Perhaps there is a fuller lot
Who’d like a better choice.

Our homes are taxed beyond belief
And still more is required.
Do not convince us that a thief
Among you has been hired.

“Sense is lost and so we frown,”
From some who make the points.
“None will be left in Fenton town
‘Cept banks and pizza joints.”