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July 26, 2005

Talking trash.

The fine folks at the Los Angeles Department of Trash Cans came to my neighborhood and swapped out everyone's old cans for new bright shiny, cans.

Correction. They swapped out everyone's cans EXCEPT mine. They TOOK mine. Away. Gone. Farewell, lovely cans! It was nice knowing ya'll!

So after much searching on the Internets, I found the number and called up the Los Angeles Dapartment of Trash Cans. Raimundo answered, and we had a very nice exchange of pleasantries and how do you do's and then I told Raimundo my story and gave him my particulars and then, THEN, the part where the government tortures its victims happened.


Me: So, you see, it would be great if someone could bring out some replacement cans seeing as mine are, you know, MIA.

Raimundo: M-eye-yay?

Me: You know, Missing. In Action.

Raimundo: I thought you said you lived in Encino.

Me: I do. Encino, yes!

Raimundo: But you just said these were missing in Acton, and Los Angeles county does not cover Acton.

Me: Um, no, not Acton. I live in Encino. I was just making a joke about ACTION, the verb? not the town? But the joke did not go well as you can see and really, could maybe we just start all over again? And hi! I'm missing my black can, my blue recycling can and the green gardening can. Help? Please?

Raimundo: In Encino?

Me: YES!Exactly! I love you!

Raimundo: Uh, ok.

Me: Great!

Raimundo: Well I have made a note of this on your record. Thank you for calling the ...

Me: NO! Wait! Don't hang up! Please? Is anyone bringing me new cans? Because I have trash. The trashy kind of trash, and there might be things outside wanting to get at my trashy trash and I need my cans. Please?

Raimundo: I have made a note of it.

Me: OK, yes, and thank you so much! And thank you for filing the Missing Can Report, but is there another person I need to call at maybe, I don't know, the place where THEY GIVE YOU BACK YOUR TRASHCANS?

Raimundo: (mumble mumble hand over phone, speaking to someone beside him at the place where they are HOLDING MY CANS HOSTAGE) ... uh, Ok. You're on the list.

Me: The List?

Raimundo: Yes.

Me: I am so, so tired. I am aging. Please. When will I please, pretty please, get trash cans?

Raimundo: Uh, ok. Hold on.

Me: (silently, to myself) GOD I LOVE YOU PLEASE HEAR MY SILENT DESPERATE PRAYERS!!

Raimundo: Maybe three weeks?

Me: (whimper)

Aside from the rather obvious issue of turning my backyard into a dump, I have all kinds of paranoia about my trash just lying around.

For example:

1) Skunks. Strong paranoia -- indeed, FEAR -- revolves around skunks taking up residence under my house or coming to my house to eat my trash. Big skunks. Who could eat me. Or make me smelly.

2) Ants. All of Southern California is built on a big ant hill and the ants could rise up and eat the whole house, drawn as they are by the scent of decomposing trash bags. And thank you to all ya'll who pointed out that my secret anti-ant weapon, Chinese Ant Chalk, is not only toxic but totally illegal and will likely turn me and the cats into leprosy victims.

3) People. People -- random people -- or maybe the FBI, THE FEDS, ya'll, will come and rifle though my trash bags, all three weeks of them, and discover that the byproducts of my life are cat poop, kleenex, wine bottles and tabloid magazines.

And let us note that I am worrying what someone who would DIG THROUGH TRASH thinks of me. If that is not Southern, you tell me what is?

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Posted by laurie at July 26, 2005 8:56 AM