Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

A Trashy Story


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Tuesday is garbage day. Every alternate Tuesday, the county collects the recycling, too. I checked the calendar last night – yup, blue box day tomorrow. Should I put it out tonight, I wondered,or leave it for the morning? You know, the gut-wrenching dilemma of weighing the pros and cons of getting out of my chair to haul the trash to the curb, vs. the “yeah, buts.” Yeah, but it will rain and that will make a sodden mush of the newspapers. Yeah, but don’t forget the raccoons. Don’t worry, I argued, I’ll have plenty of time in the morning.

Later, at [bleep] twelve [bleep] thirty-seven in the [bleep] morning, the sound of glass hitting pavement startled me wide awake. My first thought was that kids were tossing trash at the newly poured concrete foundation across the road. But then, I heard more noises: cascading pop bottles and clattering tin cans and the distinct clunk of an empty blue box as it hit the pavement. I smiled the smile of the smug. Raccoons. Good planning, Maggie!

But the noise continued and with more force than any normal raccoon could muster. In stealth mode, I crept to the window and parted the blinds. Because, you know, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. 🙄 There, at the curb three doors south, I spied an enterprising fellow helping himself to the empty beer and booze containers. There’s gold in them there recycle bins!

At this point, of course, I was wide awake. I read for a while, played a few rounds of Cookie Jam until I was tired enough to sleep.

Later, at [bleep] five [bleep] fifty-one in the same [bleep] morning, the sound of the Northern Oriole pierced my sleep. Pretty bird, pretty song, and no one to blame but myself because the birds are drawn to the orange halves mounted in the garden. But, really? What does a gal have to do to get a decent night’s sleep around here? I rolled over to try to catch some more shut-eye.

Wait! It’s garbage day!

I was right. I had plenty of time. Two hours later and the garbage still sits at the curb. Nothing for it but to write a blog post, because, sleep deprived, I cannot discern worthy blog fodder from trash.

Categories: In Other News


77 replies

  1. Those bleeping birds are singing here at five-thirty too. Sigh. I’m as sleep-deprived as you but unable to even contemplate writing a coherent blog post. Or comment for that matter. I’ll stop now.


  2. hahahah the trials of a civilized society!? :o)-

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here in Almost Iowa we rely on trash poachers, see Talk’N Trash


  4. I recognise these thoughts.

    Recycling is one of these jobs we are encouraged to do, by those who have other people to do it for them: it is time consuming, highly regulated and tedious, and yet, we like to make a difference, don’t we? It’s just that we can’t get back the sleep, or the time we spend rinsing and flattening plastic bottles…..

    Bless you! 🙂


  5. I sleep through all manner of birds. I did have a nearby, annoying mockingbird a few years back. He made every noise possible in hopes of attracting a mate. Since my husband had then been deployed almost a year, I couldn’t very well hold it against the poor bird, lol!
    I looked up the orioles with the orange slices, as I’d never heard of that. My grandmother gave them jam. Orange halves and orioles are all over the internet, and now I wonder just how big the rock I’m living under is…
    Our trash and recycle are like yours, trash every week, recycle every other. Unfortunately, ours come anywhere from 6-7am and The Mister sets them out the night before. The Mister thinks that rolling the bins out at 5:30am is rude to other neighbors who maybe don’t wake up so early. I tend to agree, but I’m glad it’s not my job.
    I seldom see a raccoon. We’ve been here almost two years and I’ve only seen one raccoon in my neighborhood. Possums and skunks more often. Nothing bothers the trash, but now and again the sanitation workers leave the bins in the street and leaving the neighborhood mid-morning feels like driving through an obstacle course!


    • One of my all time favourite birds is the Grey Catbird – related to the mockingbird. If he were to strike up a tune at dawn I’d be torn between giggling or grinding my teeth.

      I have just now returned from a walk on this blustery morning and have restored any number of windblown blue bins and garbage cans to their rightful place on the lawn; though some, I daresay, ended up in traffic because of the nice garbage man.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Joe Raccoon gets home. “Well?” his wife Delores asks as if she already knows the answer.

    “I had to work late.”

    “My tail you did,” Delores is having none of his excuses.

    “Okay, I admit it. I stopped for a little buzz.”

    “Here I work my fingers to the bone, preparing a nice meal of eggs and spinach. Your favorites too.”

    “Oh, no.”

    Oh, yes. Admit it. You have a drinking problem.”

    He knows where this is going. He has heard it three times before.


  7. I got one of those white noise machines to block out the birdsong while we can still have opened windows. Our birds are on a 4 a.m. start schedule. Of course, one of the selections on the machine was “early morning in the country”…more birds. I’ll settle for the crashing of ocean waves, I guess.

    After an early morning encounter with a hissing possum hanging out in a garbage can, I’ll take the noisy raccoons ! ☺ Van

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like you need a white noise machine. I couldn’t sleep without mine. Then again, my bladder wakes me up at least once or twice a night, so I guess the outcome is still the same. 🙂


    • Hmm. You are the second poster here to mention a white noise machine, and it came up in discussion on social media yesterday. I suppose I could give it a try… nothing to lose, right?

      My hubby’s bladder keeps me up at least one or twice a night. Touch wood, mine can wait til morning. 🙂


  9. Oh dear. Sounds like my Saturday night, babysitting my nephew. Good lord that boy is restless!


  10. Over here we’ve got these underground containers and can just throw our bags into them until someday the rubbishmen come to collect. I don’t even know which day they come. Keep on blogging in a free world – The False Prophet

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m lucky in the garbage respect – we have two big, covered bins for recyclables outside the apartment building, as well as a dumpster for the non-recyclable trash things…FAR away from my windows – so no digging or rattling for me.

    What I DO have are the idiots across the back who canNOT for the life of them get their (bleeping) car alarm (bleeping) fixed, and it goes off at (bleeping) 2 (bleeping) AM every now and again.

    And every once in a while, someone will find a song they REALLY like on the radio, and crank the volume – but so far, it’s not happened while the ‘normal’ world sleeps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, as one blogger posted above: the trials of a civilized society. Car alarms are a total waste of resources, IMHO. And I dare not share opinions on the makeup of individuals who blare their tunes at all hours.

      Sleep tight, tonight. I will, The temperatures will dip to near 0 C tonight. I’m all bundled in my woolies and fleece wear.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Quite a bleeping entertaining little tale, Mags!

    It’s sad that someone has to rummage for revenue, unless that is his chosen lifestyle …

    No “should I or shouldn’t I” dilemma here – we are FORBIDDEN from setting out trash the night before. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How you can turn garbage into an entertaining post…!

    I don’t understand all you folks irked by early birdsong, though. Crows or ravens CAWing away, sure. Geese honking? Okay. But normal sunrise birdsong? I love it.


    • 😀 – thanks Babe.

      I was whining the other day to Barbara aka Silver in the Barn about how, once upon a time, there would be nothing more joyous than the sound of songbirds at dawn. Tears to me ears kind of rapture. But, I’ve lost connection with that person, those feelings. 😦


      • It is temporary, Maggie. You will be okay again. Hang in there. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, but think about taking fewer feet.

        It can be difficult for intelligent people, given today’s world, to feel optimistic and meaningful, much less happy. When something upsets our balance–esp. if we have built up no reserves–our happiness house of cards can tumble. You really stretched yourself thinner than any person should have, didn’t you? It is unsurprising that your reserves gave out. Now, your brain chemistry is in rebellion, and even simple pleasures that lifted you previously aren’t doing so. In my opinion, this birdsong thing is already a sign that you should call a dead halt and do something radical, like a total rest-and-relaxation getaway or a wild-woman getaway–a weekend, a week, whatever you think best. I’m sure you feel that you have multiple obligations, but if you were terribly ill with pneumonia, or in a car accident, you would have to take time to heal, and this is even more important–because it is not just your body, but YOU that needs healing.

        Perhaps, though, you don’t even feel up to that. If your sad or flat affect continues, you may need help–2-3 months with a talk therapist, with or without a mood elevator like Citalopram to kick your brain chemistry back in the butt. After which, you can wean off the pill and get back to your old Maggie self.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Ha! I know your plight and admire your deprivational awareness


  15. Maggie–only you could have me mesmerized with a post about trash. I love that you peek through the blinds so as not to draw attention to yourself. God knows those birds and raccoons are always on the lookout for humans catching them in the act! 😀 So funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I liked the [bleep] throughout, particularly since it’s trash talk toward a trashy subject!

    Although before reading, I thought that the [bleep] might be the actual sound coming from, say, a garbage truck in reverse. 🙂


  17. 4:30 and the lead singer starts with his performance. I think it’s a wren and I am certain it sits right in front of our window :-).


  18. I wish we had garbage and recycle collection. We have to take ours to a neighborhood dumpster.


  19. There’s money in recycling…. Here we have to pay to take green waste to the tip and then pay to buy it back made into compost!! We do have a service covered by our rates too, so we’re pretty well looked after. I do hope you have caught up with your sleep and are feeling your serene self again Maggie. ❤


    • I’ve been sleeping like a baby, Barbara! The weather has turned cold and the windows are clsoed. 🙂

      Our county does not have a composting service, however larger regions do. I am lucky enough to have a large enough yard that can accommodate the green waste naturally.


  20. I set this aside when interrupted by a phone call and I never got back to it. Shame on me, I really enjoyed this post Maggie. Our recycling has gone single-stream in the wheeled bins, so less for the raccoons to eat. My wife tosses some stuff into the yard for the squirrels and for a rabbit that lives near us. We try to feed the few animals that remain after years of development. We are both up very early anyway, so the critters rarely get a chance to wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. LOL – you aren’t the only one to be distracted, Dan! I noticed the typo, was about to edit it, then wondered if I was correct in doing so. So, I waffled then surfed away and then… well, you know what happened then!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂


  22. Reblogged this on Mary J Melange and commented:

    Maggie at “The zombies Ate My Brains” has a very messy post for you. It’s garbarge day!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Here in Manhattan we have rats that would scare away the raccoons. Good thing our super takes care of the garbage days. So much easier.


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