I stretched out my morning routine as long as possible--feeding the fish, drinking coffee, nibbling my granddaughter's cheeks. After a while, I heard Granny say, "There go the trash cans."
I knew exactly what she meant. We live on a hill, and whenever there is rain, our gutters turn into the River Nile at the height of flood. It was also trash day, so the blue recycling can and the black trash can was at the curb. Combine a raging river and large plastic trash cans, and you've got problems.
So far, our bins were safe. We watched some of the neighbors' cans pile up across the street, but ours were holding firm. Then the truck came along to pick up the blue can. As soon as the blue can was lifted out of the curb by the automated claw, the black one (still full of garbage) went sailing down the street like a raft on the Mississippi. Fortunately, it came to rest--upright--against the bumper of a car. The workers were smart enough to put the blue bin down on the parkway, otherwise I would still be chasing the damn thing.
I dashed into the bedroom, threw on some clothes, and went downstairs to rescue our cans. I waded into the flood and hauled the black can to safety. I figured if the claw could put the can down on the parkway, it could pick it up from there, too. So I dragged it through the swamp and put it on the parkway.
I began to bring the blue can back to the garage, but it was missing a wheel. An entire wheel--about 8 inches (3,206 meters for you non-Americans) in diameter--had simply disappeared. Where it went or why, we'll never know.
Then I went back upstairs to the living room where I found dear, sweet Granny laughing at me. I was drenched. She had been upstairs taking pictures. I simply glared at her as the next garbage truck arrived.
The claw lifted the black bin off the parkway and then put the can back down. The can, however, tipped right over and dropped into the river of rainwater. Down the hill it went. The open end of the 50- to 60-gallon can (3 liters for non-Americans) was facing uphill. Water rushed in.
The enormous weight of the water in the can slowed it down enough so I could catch up, but it took me some time before I could get the thing upright again to return it to the garage. All during this time, of course, the rain was still pelting down. As you can imagine, I was in a very good mood.
I got back in the house, and I was more waterlogged than the first time. Granny was still laughing.
She stopped laughing as soon as she looked outside and saw our neighbor struggling with a blue can across the street. It tipped over, and garbage went everywhere.
"Oh look," she said. "He needs help."
Granny immediately raced outside in her bare feet and went to help. Together, they collected his cans and returned them to safety.
She came back in, wet as a duck. I was so mad, there was steam coming off my head. Her husband, the man she made vows to, her partner, her love, grandfather to her most adorable grandchild, had been outside just moments before, fighting the elements and potential wet dog poop on the lawn, and what did she do? Laughed and took pictures from the warm, dry living room.
But then, the guy across the street came outside, and what did she do? She darted outside in bare feet to lend assistance. What does that tell you? Something smells around here, and it's not a dirty diaper!
She's gonna get it.