Wednesday night is trash night in our neighborhood. I took the tall white bag out of our kitchen can and told Daniel to start collecting the garbage from upstairs. With much grumping and fussing, Daniel returned with the wastepaper basket from my office. He dumped out a load of straw papers, Diet Pepsi cup lids and a few office related items.
“I can’t believe how many cup lids there are,” said Daniel, dramatically wiping his brow from the exertion. He headed back upstairs. I could hear some banging and Pepper squawked a couple of times. Daniel lugged down Meka’s trash can next. It was crammed full of newspaper.
“This is crazy,” complained Daniel. “Newspaper should be recycled, not thrown away.” I pointed out the recyclers only took newspaper that wasn’t covered in parrot poop. Daniel made a face and I was relieved to see it didn’t freeze in place. He heaved a sigh and headed up the stairs again, struggling mightily against the gravitational pull of the earth. After a few moments, I heard him dragging the can from our bathroom down the stairs: thud, thud, thud. He was at his breaking point. He pulled out handfuls of trash and had comments about every bit.
“Two toilet paper rolls?” he asked rhetorically. “So much Kleenex!” He tsk-ed and shook his head and continued digging. Finally, I had enough.
“So, what’s in your trash can, Daniel?” I asked. Daniel looked at me with a smirk.
“My trash can is totally empty,” he replied. I didn’t doubt it; looking at Daniel’s room, I knew why the garbage can was untouched. I tied up the garbage bag and told Daniel to go upstairs and make sure everything but the trash can was cleaned up.