I grew up in a suburb, so the concept of living in one is not foreign to me. However, it had been a long time since I’d lived in a suburb, and when Matt and I moved to the town that we currently live in we wondered what changes were coming our way.
The town that we now live in is technically a city – it is large and in fact most people would not consider it very suburban at all. However, despite its city-like size, it is has one trait that is distinctly suburban: there are rules.
In the city, people make up the rules as they go along, and the widely-known rules that ARE followed are ones that are known by all but written down exactly nowhere. (See: the rule wherein if you shovel out a parking space and then place a lawn chair it in, that space is yours forever. Even the Boston PD is not messing with that shit.) But otherwise, all rules, especially those regarding traffic laws, the state of one’s lawn, and other municipal codes, were made to be broken.
In the town that we live now, they take the rules a little more seriously. And that is how Matt and I came to receive a letter informing us that our trash receptacle is not up to the town’s standards, and that we have until exactly November 24th to replace the aforementioned receptacle before they cease with the removal of our trash. (I wish to GOD that I had the letter with me right now because I’m sure there is a scanner somewhere in this building that I could use to upload the letter for your viewing pleasure.)
The letter was accompanied by a handy flyer that showed the correct (30 gallons or less, removable lid) and incorrect (ginormous, with a lid that flips off but is still attached by those clip thingies, like ours) types of trash cans. The letter gave lengthy explanation for the need for the ‘trash can manifesto’, citing reasons such as the plight of the trash man’s (or woman’s, we do not discriminate) aching back and the likelihood of the trash person’s being stuck by “penetrating objects” should the trash person have to reach into the can to pull the bags out, rather than just being able to dump the can upside-down into the back of the garbage truck, which is apparently the only acceptable way to empty a trash can.
Matt promptly flew into an enraged state, demanding that the town give us back the $30 that we had paid for too-large-trash-can, and wondering why the local Wal-mart doesn’t warn residents of the trash can manifesto or adjust their stock to include only trash can that are blessed by the town sanitation department.
I simply stood there and laughed, and pondered that even though I would really not like to ever have a trash man’s job, I would like to be the person responsible for keeping records on trash-can-delinquents even less.