Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shifting the trash can paradigm

We dog walkers are such creatures of habit.

We walk at the same time every day. Our dogs play with the same dogs. We fret if some one is missing. We fret if there's someone new. And, most of all, we fret about our trash cans at the park.

The annual park clean-up has been progressed fitfully the last few weeks. I say "fitfully" only because we've had one of the most beautiful, becalmed autumns that I can remember in my 26-years-and-counting (aka, WHAT have I gotten myself into?) here in Bermtopia. We've dodged the occasional mower and leaf blower with relative equanimity -- BUT are totally abuzz with daily reports about the gradual, but relentless, removal of trash cans in the park.

"They took two from the picnic tables!"

"The one by the tennis courts is gone!"

"They've always left the one by the rest rooms, but now it's gone!"

(Sidebar: Interestingly enough, there is a science to trash can placement in city parks. Or so I was informed by a summer park worker several years ago. He should know: He had a master's degree in parks and recreation and took the temporary park gig while his wife was a visiting professor at one of our fine local universities. His master's thesis was on the very topic of the optimum trash can placement in city parks.

Imagine that.

He also was a pipe organist of some renown.)

But anyway. Back to musical trash cans. It's all okay. Change is good. We'll muddle through. We always do this time of year.

Or so I thought until Monday.

Until. . . . at the top of the park, I discovered the "nice" baseball backstop trash can was g.o.n.e. This is my go-to trash can -- one of the few constants in the park: A stalwart, year-round shrine to poop bags, beer cans and depleted bags of sunflower seeds. And it was gone. Vanished. Kaput.

** Imagine a photo here -- one that I just accidentally deleted from my call phone about 10 minutes ago. No memory card. Lesson learned.

Image: It's the "nice" baseball backstop sans trash can. However, some park visitor left their trash -- a Starbucks cup and couple of poop bags (the in-use variety) -- on the equipment bin, no doubt in the hopes that the trash can would return and clean up after them. **

I thought, very possibly, my head was going to explode.

Ben and I quickly hoofed it up to the Hoopfest basketball court trash can.

Phew. Still there.

** Imagine a photo here -- the second accidentally deleted from my cell phone. Do not let me near home electronics without at least one cup of coffee in the morning.

Image: The Hoopfest court trash can chained to the Hoopfest court bench with a Hoopfest hoop towering majestically in the background. Caption: "Chains help." **

My nerves settled just a bit.

But just a bit. When we got to the "tacky" "neglected" back stop on the far side of the park. There. was. a. trash. can. where. a. trash. can. had. never. been. before.

This time my head really did explode.
Ben: Your brain is over there to the right, next to chestnut tree.
I think a squirrel is trying it on for size.
Interloper trash can: * sound of crickets *
And then I realized this was all okay. The seasons change. Trash cans change. It's all part of the great messy rhythms in life, right? Right.

We can navigate peripatetic trash cans this winter. You bet we can.

But don't mess with the swing sets, damn it.


  1. *shaking coonhound head* Don't understand why they move or remove the trash cans... Where's mom going to place my "deposit"?

  2. Moving trash cans is enough to make anyone's brain explode! Good grief.

  3. After the last 6 months of dutiful reconnaissance, I'm pretty sure I hate change.