And it’s more than enough to send an empty trashcan flying down the street, as we experienced last week. Before Brian left for work one blustery morning, he gave me rather stern instructions to ‘make sure [I] grab the can right after the garbage men come,’ or else we were going to lose our trash receptacle to the Great Unknown. So I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever. I’ll make sure I grab it quickly.’
Guess what? We lost our can that day.
I looked all over for it. We live on a cul-de-sac with only nine other houses, so it couldn’t have gone far. But I could not find the darn thing. I looked all over and finally gave up. When Brian got home, he was none too happy, and even commenced a search of his own, running up and down the street in his little jogging shorts. (giggle)
It turned up nothing.
The next day, he went out and bought another garbage can. “It’s critter-proof,” he told me proudly.
Number of raccoons I’ve seen or any animal, for that matter, that would fall under the category of “critter” since moving to Vegas? Zero. But I appreciated the effort. And the new can.
So imagine my surprise when on the next trash day while watching Brian drag our new critter-proof can to the curb, I noticed the neighbors across the street had not one, not two, but three trash cans lined up at the end of their driveway. Two were identical, though one was missing a lid, and the third was the standard-issued one from the garbage service. All three were piled high with trash.
All of the cans were lined up with the front part facing the house, not the street.
“Brian,” I hissed. “They have our can! They have our garbage can!”
He looked at me blankly. “What do you want me to do?”
“GO GET IT!”I yelled, waving my hands at him.
So Brian dutifully trooped off to ring the bell while Scotty and I stood on the porch, watching intently. This whole situation was going to be resolved quickly, I was sure, since our address was painted on the side of the can. The same side that was currently facing their house, but how were they going to argue with that? It was our can.
Within a few minutes, Brian was walking back to the house, empty-handed.
“What happened?” I jumped on him as soon as he hit our property line.
“Well, she said she didn’t know it was our can,” he started.
“How is that possible? Our address is painted on the side!” I exclaimed.
He shrugged. “She just said that she was wondering why their can was missing a lid.”
“But their garbage can has a lid…our doesn’t.” Our lid had blown away in yet another wind storm earlier in the year. “She didn’t notice that she now had…three garbage cans? And that there was still a lid on one of the cans? Did she think the trash cans were multiplying? They were mating in the garage or something?”
Brian just shrugged again. “She said they will bring our can back as soon as the garbage men come…but she swears it isn’t our can. Despite the fact that they have an additional garbage can. Without a lid. That just magically appeared in their garage. With someone else’s address painted on the side.”
I finally stopped interrogating him and let him go to work, but the minute the garbage truck rumbled around the corner, I was on our can like nobody’s business. I felt strange going across the street and taking it off their curb, but for the 12th time that day, I told myself, “It’s our can. I am not stealing…I am taking back what was originally ours.”
Is that what OJ told himself when he robbed those men at Palace Station back in 2007?
Who knows. But it was our can!
Argh. The complicated mess that is a neighborhood.
And now today is yet another garbage day, and Brian dragged our can to its rightful place on the curb. It’s windy again, so I’m prepared to haul it inside the minute it is emptied. Because as we learned last week, while the can may be critter-proof, it doesn’t mean it’s not neighbor-proof.