After three phone calls over a 7-day period to Waste Management and the City of Hollywood, the debris festering for about 4 weeks at the bottom of my trash bin has been picked up. Inhale.
I let this slide. It’s my fault. Hollywood collects trash twice weekly (grammatical note: that would be “semi-weekly,” not “bi-weekly.” In our next lesson we will discuss “regime” vs. “regimen.” No, a “regimen” is not a “regiment,” either. I swear to dog, some of the crap I read abuses the language so cruelly I can’t freakin understand what the hell they’re trying to say.) Where was I?
Right. So pretty much the crew of dufi (plural of dufus, which spellcheck doesn’t like either) assigned to the route serving my neighborhood figures out they can speed through the day a lot quicker if instead of using the trucks to lift the bins to dump them, they just reach in and grab whatever is bagged, then toss it into the truck. So in my case, the smaller bags of waste just lay there for weeks, fermenting like Budweiser farts in a fat belly.
What’s in these smaller bags? Shit, literally. We have 6 cats and a dog, all of whom eat and shit the way animals will do when all is working normally. Guido and I pick up a lot of poop. It’s one of the great joys of living with animals, along with stepping on soggy hair balls in bare feet.
But the clincher is the rather large dead rat we find 10 days ago. Big fellow sporting a fatal puncture wound in his gut from which yellowed innards protrude. Amazingly, he hasn’t been gnawed on (see number of cats, above). We scoop him up in a bag (thank you Miami Hurled: you deliver your shit daily in convenient plastic bags, we remove your shit and pick up our own) and chuck him in the bin.
I want you to envision this trash bin, now, with 4 weeks of bagged animal feces and a dead rat, broiled to perfection in rainwater under the July sun. The sauna from hell. It would have caused a legless Calcuttian beggar to retch.
Okay, so I call 3 times. The first two, I am told somebody would be right out to have a look. Lies all lies. The third time I call the day BEFORE scheduled pick-up. Somebody comes right out and empties my bin. Bagged rat and all.
Now hear this:
Unacceptable Garbage: No rocks, metal, flammable substances, medical waste, liquids, dead animals, sewage, manure and radioactive materials. — Hollywood.org
Wasn’t there a grunge band in the ‘90s named “Unacceptable Garbage?” Google that.
Okay, so when you walk your cur in Hollywood, you’re supposed to pick up behind it. If manure is on the verboten list, what are you supposed to do with your bag of goodies? Throw it in the sewer or a body of water? Stuff it back up your dog’s ass? Drop it off at the mayor’s office? Oooh, I know — put it in a paper bag, lay in at the front door of a neighbor you don’t like, set it on fire, and ring the bell. Neighbor comes out, sees the flames, and instinctively stomps on them, covering his or her hoof with animal shit. Great fun, especially on Halloween.
Then there’s the dead animal clause (pun: claws). What was I supposed to do with this fine dead rat I encountered? Leave it for the flies and vultures? Cut it into pieces and flush it down the toilet, or stuff it into the garbage disposal? Sell it to a Hungarian restaurant? Find its birth certificate and run it for office on the tea party ticket?
I don’t raise any of these issues with the city. I just want my own personal toxic waste dump attended to. When you’re up to your kneecaps in bagged shit and dead vermin, your devotion to principles weakens noticeably. Ask the President. He deals with Congress. He knows.
PS Apologies for the worst pun ever for a blog title.