Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cleaning Up the Garbage (can)

For the past 6-8 months there has been a big plastic garbage can sitting in one of our neighborhood retention ponds. Like everyone else, I would drive by it and think to myself, "Whose can is that and why don't they do something about it?" After a few months my thoughts changed to, "I wonder if that can will stick out of the ice when the pond freezes over." Even later they changed to, "Did I leave the iron on?" as I was starting to get tired of wasting my precious mental energy on that stupid trash can.

But as the weather started getting nice, the neighborhood began to green up and I couldn't stop thinking about it: "Maybe I could just walk in there and retrieve it!" Honestly, it was only about ten feet from the shore line. The water would be 2-3 feet deep at the most. However, the bottom of the pond is a silt-mud-muck material, which would cause you to sink another foot--YUCK! There had to be a way. Every day I would see the can and think about ways to get out. Finally, I remembered that I had some old but long PVC pipes in the garage. So, I could "touch it with a ten foot pole" quite literally, but how would I get the can back to dry ground?

Another month went by. Baseball and softball season started up--the busiest time of the year for me--but I couldn't stop thinking about it. I came home from church on a Sunday and pulled out the tall pole from the corner of the garage. I carefully drilled a hole through it and screwed in a hook that was attached to my wall to hold things like ladders, bikes, annoying neighbor kids, etc. It was perfect. I hopped on my Schwinn and pedaled over to the pond. Since it had been sitting in the water for months, I wasn't sure how difficult it would be to move. However, I was able to easily lower the hook onto a handle and pulled the can in in less than thirty seconds. Imagine that? The entire process probably took five minutes. But what was I to do with the can? It was covered with pond scum and algae. I surely didn't want to bring it home. It wasn't my can in the first place.

So, I decided that I'd put it on the sidewalk for everyone to see. Surely, the guilty can owner would crawl out of the woodwork and claim it eventually. I wasn't too optimistic, but perhaps this even bigger eye-sore would provoke someone to action. I rode back home and spent the rest of the day working in the yard. Several hours after I pulled the can ashore, I had to drive to Lowes for something (we always need something from Lowes). When I approached the pond I expected to see the ugly can still sitting on the concrete walk. I even pondered the idea that a kid might kick it right back into the water. But it was gone. GONE!!!! Either the guilty neighbor decided to claim it or another lucky resident is the proud owner of a slightly used, pond-scum and algae coated plastic trash can. This Friday is garbage day, so perhaps I'll cruise around the neighborhood to see where it pops up.

NOTE: Even though this story is entirely original, the idea to write about it came from Uvalpie's Sign Season post.


Me said...

It's almost weird how much you too think alike.

Toni said...

mud-muck? Did you say mud-muck? As in a VBS treat called mucky mud (which shall now go down in history as monkey butt).

eally said...

Good for you...take action kind of guy! lol

Uvulapie said...

It's amazing how little time things take when you actually decide to do something about it.

Like there was this one time that a goat was terrorizing the neighborhood but everyone wanted to pretend like there was no problem. Trampled daisies? What trampled daisies? Those aren't muddy hoof prints on my car. Pay no attention to the steaming pile of goat guano, it isn't really there.

On sunny Sunday afternoon I had finally had enough. Ten minutes and two tranquilizer darts later (sorry about the wild first shot, Mr. Divito) and the goat was in the trunk of my car, ready to be turned into quick cash at the nearby International Grocery.

Mr. E said...

This reminds me of when we sat our old washing machine out on the curb to be picked up by the city. It was supposed to be picked up the following afternoon. About 8:30p.m., or so, I heard a noise outside. When I looked outside a group of young looking Hispanic men were loading the old washer into the back of their truck. It saved the city a trip to my house, and if they can fix it more power to them.

I guess someone really needed a pond scum covered trash can.

My Thoughts Exactly said...

I can only imagine "Sir Big Doofus" gallantly riding his trusty steed (bike)with his jousting stick (homemade garbage can-getter)close by his side. Now that is a sight I'm sorry I missed. However, I do appreciate your heart for serving your community and the orphaned can.