Garbage In, Garbage Out

The pups and I ran the garbage gantlet on our walk this morning. Actually it was me running it, zigzagging to keep Mister B, Lulu, and Fritzi away from chicken bones and god knows what else.

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It’s garbage day. Waste Management comes at the crack of dawn. Because pickup’s so early, neighbors wheel their bins out the night before. Every now and then, javelina visit in the wee hours, tipping bins to get at the goodies.

When I took these photos, the garbageman had just made his rounds. It’s not his job to clean up after the javelina. That’s on us.

I got tired of cleaning up messes like this a year ago and adopted a new tactic: getting up before sunrise on garbage day to put the bins out. You may say that sounds more like giving up, but what the hell, the dogs wake me up at 5 AM anyway. I’m up in plenty of time to put the bins out before the garbageman comes, so for me it’s just as easy as putting them out the night before. So far it’s working: today there’s garbage all up and down the street, but none of it’s mine and I don’t have to clean it up.

By the way, I assume our neighbors got up early to set their bins back upright before the garbage truck came — they’re standing up in the photos I took and I’m pretty sure the javelina didn’t do it. Which makes me wonder why folks don’t save themselves the aggravation and set their bins out early on the day.

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p.s. This is what our street looks like when there’s no garbage strewn about. And that’s the Gang of Three — Mr. B, Lulu, and Fritzi. And one of their two herders, Donna.

p.p.s. Whenever I write about the neighborhood javelina pack, I look up the collective noun for javelina. I keep hoping I’ll find a source saying “pack” is okay, but the answer’s always “squadron.” I do not like that answer. In the Air Force, I was a proud member of some legendary fighter squadrons. To me, a squadron’s a noble thing. Squadrons don’t tip over garbage cans and root around in eggshells and coffee grounds.


I sleep on top of the covers this time of year and can usually feel the air moving around in the bedroom. Last night the air was still and I convinced myself the air conditioning had conked out. As soon as I put the garbage out this morning I went out back to check fuses and circuit breakers. Everything looked good, so I checked the thermostat inside. The indoor temperature was nearly 80 degrees, so I cycled the AC switches and set the temp to 74. As soon as I did I felt cool air circulating again. Whew. Somehow I’d forgetten the thermostat’s set to 80 during the hours we sleep. That’s bad enough, but then I left the thermostat at 74 and Donna woke up freezing. Anyway, bullet dodged for now — there’s nothing wrong with our AC, thank goodness.


I’m trying to not think about tomorrow, when I go to the cardiologist to take a  stress test. I had to take one twenty years ago and it was a singularly unpleasant experience; I doubt they’ve made them any easier in the meantime. Oh well, back to the treadmill. And I mean that literally.

© 2022, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Garbage In, Garbage Out

  • Squadron? That is absurd. Everyone knows a pack of pigs is a rasher. Not, pod, pride, school (hard to get much schooling when your memory only last 8 seconds), murder or coven. Wait a minute, they are all silly. Luckily ‘bunch’ or ‘lot’ covers everything in English.
    How do those pigs taste by the way? Say, bbq style.
    tod recently posted…Tomorrow Belongs to Kyle RittenhouseMy Profile

  • Our garbage can tippers are raccoons. A good sturdy bungee cord has handled that problem.

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