Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sam Katz & the Crazy - Being 60 (week 42 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Last Sunday A and a few friends continued the purging of B.

When neighbors saw the grey Honda instead of the truck, or the white car, or the 
U Haul, they figured B was totally gone.

During the evenings, Christmas lights were turned on, as a welcome home.
People began parking in the bay again.
Life was returning to its usual hum drum self.
It was good.

A and friends returned during the evenings to continue the cleanup.

No one envied A the job of cleaning the mess left by B.

B was a smoker.
Circles of sickly greyish yellow had to be scrubbed away from ceilings and walls.
They had to be repainted.

Then there's the trash.
Since last Halloween, the garbage cart has sat ignored in the snow.
B wasn't big on throwing out garbage.
Or recycling.

A few days ago we were surprised to hear a muffled thwacking noise coming from A's yard.
Near the neglected garbage cart.

Oh, dear.

We've been having an unusual winter.
Now we're in a deep freeze, with windchill bringing temperatures of -40.
But, for a few weeks we had a thaw.
On one hand it was considered a blessing.  
Our ground is saturated and if the snow melts all at once in the Spring, we are in danger of bad flooding.
But a 'freeze and thaw' can cause other problems.

About a year ago, Mayor Sam Katz introduced rollaway garbage carts to our section of Winnipeg.
Progress and all that crap.
The problem is, the houses in our area weren't designed for the carts.
Many houses don't have garages, just open carports.

Where to put the cart on non-pickup days? 
I mean, it doesn't exactly look great in the living room near the door.
Our houses are about 25 years old.
Porches were out of style then. 

Most folks try to keep the carts sheltered, or at least cleared of snow.
It's another winter chore, like clearing around the hydrant.
Most folks aren't lazy fellows.
Lazy fellows who don't toss out trash.
Violent, lazy fellows with a peace bond on their heads.
Vindictive, violent, lazy fellows about to be tossed out.

A lot of garbage can build up in four months.

A's house has an open carport, not a garage.
The cart has been sitting in the yard.
It hasn't been moved for four months.
The snow around it has been getting thawed and frozen.
A block of ice now has a death grip on the wheels.
The ice is like concrete.
The cart is unmoveable.

Thanks to the new system, garbage bags are not picked up.
The only way to get rid of crap is in the cart.
Tough nuggies if you can't move your cart.
Officials don't care what's been happening.
Not their problem, buddy.

Folks are trying to be neighborly, making room for a bag.
It's going to be a slow process.
A's cart will be a frozen lawn ornament until April.

We're Winnipeggers.
We can survive winter, City Hall, garbage and bums.

The purging of B continues.


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