I Am the Trash Man

The litigiousness of society rips at me, but I’m likely to blow off the residing anger, say a cuss word like fuck and move on. When it was finally my turn, my day in court finished with a tremendous victory for me and my sleazy lawyer.

Later, after all of the media bullshit, when all of the people started detesting me, the anger erupted inside me, refusing to dissipate, so here I write my cultural defense, having crushed the competition in the courtroom.

When I did the people’s taxes, I had these spirited periods of time like being in a jet when I would punch in these crazy numbers, but it was always in the people’s favor. My customers loved me except if they happened to be audited. My audits seemed to get worse and worse, and the partners always blamed me instead of understanding that I was only trying to make things good for our customer.

I went out in a storm of blurry shouting when three of the partners sat me down in Fred’s office and fired me without letting me defend myself. I was still drunk from the night before, so I had yet to hit the sauce I kept in my desk drawer. I felt put together, but my breath was rotten, and no matter how experienced I was, I seemed to have the kind of hangover that was like a drill press squeezing the brain. There was no defense, but I shouted at the top of my lungs about how unfair they were. After I got home I realized that the only reason I blew a fuse was because I would soon run out of beer money.

I sat around for months, contemplating, strategizing, and finally, I decided that I could earn sufficient funds for my drinking and other living expenses if I would just go get a job as a trash man on one of the Delaterio routes. It seemed perfect in accommodating my lifestyle, and best of all, I could continue to work on my spirituality

People looked down on me, but they’ve always looked down on me. If they could see all of the customers on my route, they’d understand that it does not matter what one does for a living as long as one lives true to one’s purpose. Quickly, I noticed that the customers on my route loved to see me every week. They would smile and wave. I know that I made their lives better each and every day. They would see my jolly comportment, and they’d know that I was special, that I was sent to bring joy into their lives. I’m not kidding: They would wait by their windows, twittering away the time until our big green truck would approach their houses, and when we got close, they would walk out and enthusiastically greet me. My drinking is what fueled the spread of great joy through my customers’ neighborhoods. I would be buzzing pretty darned good by 9:30 AM. People think it’s easy to drink on the job, but I maintained a delicate balance between joyful drunkenness and stuttering, blithering, stumbling lunacy. This requires careful appraisal of your current condition, some consumption of food, and carefully-measured imbibing. I know this prelude seems to be crazy, defensive posturing, but motive is important in court.

This one day, Marcos, the driver I was paired with, had been consuming a bit too much himself. Yes, I’ll admit, before he got paired with me, he never drank on the job, but he was one hell of a drinker. He saw me as a good example of how to love your job, so he brought his Jim Beam on board every day. I told him, “Marcos, you need to drive, and the fuckin’ truck is big, so you better be careful!” I was especially concerned about the 20 minutes at the end of the day when we were on the interstate highway, heading back to the shop, but he seemed to be a pro at controlling his drinking. Marcos was an all-star. So this one day, I swear Marcos was just fine. In fact, he was barely cracking a smile, but we came out of Tuesday Zone 3, and the fucker runs right into the light pole in front of the needlepoint shop. The worst part was all the people at the sandwich shop across the street were out on the sidewalk and most of them saw all or part of the accident. The light pole fell over, blocking traffic on the charming suburban street. The cops came and talked to me first. They didn’t talk very long and then they cuffed me for no good reason. I told them that the idiot Marcos was driving, but they didn’t give a shit about the pertinent details. Marcos and I were both in the slammer, but I had a buddy of mine bail us out, and later, I think Deleterio himself got us out of any criminal charges. His money probably told the sergeant that DUI charges weren’t necessary in this case, but then, the bastard fired both of us.

A few weeks down the road, I was home, drinking slowly, and it must have been late night because one of those lawyer commercials came on, and yeah, I was sauced, but I am sure Todd talked to me right through the TV: “Fired? Don’t take that sitting down! You’re a good person and if you’ve been fired because of bad faith by your employer, I’ll make it so you don’t ever have to work again.” Of course, I was moved a bit by this. It occurred to me that I had been living in a hopeless state, and this little piece of hope from the late-night, sleaze-ball lawyer gave me a bit of a reason to get up in the morning.

Todd told me to go for the main artery, don’t hold back, take all of Deleterio’s money. It sounded good, but I told him I just wanted my job back so I could have beer money and continue with my life mission. He said we could proceed my way, against the counsel of my lawyer (like he was a third person or something).

You think the judge is insane, but he heard all of the facts, and he knew how to set things straight. It helped that Delaterio did not have a policy on the things that might get a trash man fired except for if you don’t show up three whole days in a row. If you ask me, that’s all that a trash man could do wrong – Simply fail to show up. How could the route get done if you don’t show up?

I was so proud of this judge. It’s like he had walked in my shoes. He told those big-ego defense lawyers that the world needed more men like me, smiling as they pick up the trash, smiling as they do all of the hard jobs we hire people to do. What’s wrong with being a little tipsy when it brings about a few smiles? He asked them, “Wouldn’t you be happier if you could drink all day on the job? Wouldn’t your clients be happier if you met them with big grins on your faces?”

Todd had told me to show up to court as sober as I could be on account that the judge might view intoxication as out of order in his courtroom, but I’m not so sure now. I was having troubles keeping my mouth shut because I wanted to cheer the judge on, “Yeah, give it to them! Throw the book at them!” The judge closed things up by saying that if anyone deserves to drink on the job, it’s a trash man, and I said yeah (silently)!

My late-night lawyer, sleaze-ball jackass got plenty of money, I got enough money to buy enough beer for the holiday season, and of course, I got my job back. Deleterio was rather sheepish, but he told me as long as I didn’t drive the truck and as long as I didn’t act like a damned fool, I could keep drinking and smiling on the job. That first morning back on the job, as I was ready to jump back on the green machine, he turned and as he was walking away, he admitted in a breezy voice that the customers had missed me.


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  1. #1 by Carl D'Agostino on August 21, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    My first job at 14 years old was in the summer and worked for the City of North Miami and ran behind those garbage trucks for $40 a week.

    • #2 by Carl on September 2, 2013 - 4:26 pm

      Now I know where your wealth of spirit comes from. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

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