Monday, February 20, 2012

Respect the Can, Man

It's the little things that do you in.  Sure, aliens could land in my neighborhood like they landed in Tom Cruise's neighborhood in War of the Worlds.  Sure.  And, who knows,  maybe I would find myself as resourceful as old Tom's character in getting out of Dodge and surviving the attack.  Maybe.

That's not a little thing.  That's not having to buy yet another garbage can.

I have lived at my current address almost 8 years and I'm on my 3rd or 4th garbage can.  To some people that may be no big deal, but I really don't see why a freakin' garbage can should wear out, or more exactly, be destroyed.  It's a GARBAGE CAN.  It's plastic or metal, you stuff bags of garbage in it, you haul it to the street once a week, and someone empties the contents into a garbage truck.  So why have I come home to garbage can debris scattered in my yard, driveway, and the street?

The first can was inherited and it didn't have a lid - which just won't work.  Not only does it rain into the can (I don't have a garage or outdoor covered storage place, don't get me started on that...) but some of the lovely critters that inhabit my island climb and tear and scatter.  Critters like cats (and you know who you are), armadillos, possums, dogs.  And please remember this is Florida where it does get quite hot and humid in the summer.  The inside of those garbage bags are petri dishes and one small hole or tear and the smell, o heavens, the SMELL.

So I bought a Rubbermaid $30 can with a lid and wheels.  The wheels because I'm not carrying pounds of garbage to the curb and it's noisy and embarrassing to drag it down the driveway.  Within days the handle had been broken.  Really?  Within weeks the lid had been tossed into the street and run over several times by friendly neighbors.  Within months one of the wheels had disappeared.  So I spent the next year or two pounding the ill-fitting lid on it and dragging it up & down the driveway.

Next I bought a cheapo $15 can (with lid & wheels) at K-Mart.  Awesome.  $15!  They broke the handle the first time they picked up the trash.  I "fixed" it with duct tape.  That lasted for many months.  That must have irritated them because one day I came home to find the axle and wheels sitting next to the can.  REALLY?!  And I could NOT get the axle reattached to the can.  So I spent the next year dragging the can back and forth on the driveway.

Last week, after intense internet research and reading of customer reviews, I found my can.  No matter that it was $70.  No matter that it was 40 miles away.  I would get that can.  I enlisted my daughter's help (she has a huge trunk in her car) and we drove to the Big Box Store in Palm Coast that had my can.  Well, they didn't have the 30 gallon can I wanted, but for the same $70 they had a 60 gallon can by the same manufacturer.  Bought it.  Didn't fit in the trunk.  With rope and additional string from the store we got a piece of it in the trunk and secured it all around.  Drove home with the wind whistling through the lid.

Last night I proudly rolled my trash can to the street and parked it.  I threw down my challenge.  And when I returned home from work today, my can was sitting neatly on the grass next to my mailbox.  Undamaged. Granted, they left the lid open (it's attached).   A message, I assume.  Fine.  My can and I are up to the challenge.