Of course, this public workers' strike has to start on the hottest, muggiest week of the year so far. I've written about the Day Of Days before, but its polar opposite is the day when the first wave of oppressive humidity sweeps over the city. Call it the Day Of Back Sweat. So when you add a few thousand metric pounds of trash to the equation, it doesn't take long for the situation to reach critical mass. It seems as if every year the humid weather coincides with some foul waste-related mishap in my living quarters. In 2006, I returned home from a sticky night at a baseball game wanting nothing more than a cool shower, only to accidentally flood the bathroom due to a busted gizmo in the back of the toilet. This was on the same day that a new roommate moved in, so his first sight of me was frantically mopping the floor and cursing like a sailor on leave. In 2007, a raccoon got into our bin and left piles of trash strewn around our back deck. (This was on the same day, naturally, that my parents were up for a visit, so they left town thinking their eldest son was living in squalor.)
The nastiness started on Wednesday evening. I was leaving for the soccer game and went behind my apartment to get to my car. Virtually everyone on my block stores their trash in a shed or bin in the alley behind all of our buildings, and even in the twenty-second stroll between my back door and my car door, the smell was pretty freakin' noticeable. Our regularly scheduled trash pickup day was on Tuesday, so Wednesday was technically day one of the great wait, and we were already losing the battle. My roommate and I have already taken the step of moving a green bin out on our balcony, so in case of overflow (since we'll have to pack every ounce of trash possible in that bad boy) it won't turn our kitchen into a haven for fruit flies.
If worst comes to worst, of course, we can just throw some trash into my trunk and drive it down to one of the dumping sites that the city has set up, but then we'd have to deal with another problem --- the striking city workers picketing the sites and letting roughly one car into the site per five minutes. You know what, sanitation workers? I get why you're striking, and you guys certainly deserve extra consideration from the city given what (literal) crap you put up on a daily basis. Talk about an essential service. But picketing a dump site and inconveniencing TO residents who are already going out of their way to dump their trash on their own? That's just a dick move. That will net you exactly zero public sympathy. It's one thing if a piano-tuners union goes on strike and pickets a city-run string-straightening venture, but people don't need to have their pianos tuned at all times. Little Gregory's scales can be a bit flat, and everyone at the recital will understand given the circumstances. But people NEED to dispose of their trash somewhere. Otherwise, we'll be on the fast track to huge mountains of trash straight out of Idiocracy or Wall*E. I don't want to see President Dwayne Camacho in my lifetime, people.
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