Tag Archives: coffee clatch

How Many Garbage Trucks Does It Take…

…to pick up your garbage. If you live in my neighborhood, it takes four; along with a crew of about 6-8 workers.

Doesn’t it sometimes seem to you that governments, big and small, just seem to do really stupid crap? This garbage pickup thing is a great example of that. I was sitting at my uncle’s house today for the Wednesday coffee clatch with the aunts and uncles and this very topic came up in conversation. It’s absolutely asinine that garbage pickup on my street requires four distinct type trucks with their accompanying crews. Here’s why…

There are four different types of refuse, according to the city. There is standard household garbage that is deposited in the big automated garbage cans, which are picked up by a truck with one crew member that picks up ONLY these type cans. The senior employees must get this cush gig. They sit in AC comfort and rarely ever get out of the truck.

The second type of refuse is standard household garbage that people put on the curbside in bags or non-automated type cans. A completely different type truck with a crew of two or three has to come and pick this type of garbage up. It’s “old style”. These are the guys who manually dump your can and then toss it in the middle of the street and drive off. These are the lowest paid employees, probably. They actually work.

The third type refuse is the yard debris. That means chopped branches, bags of leaves or grass… that kind of stuff. A third unique truck and crew of two or three are required for this type refuse. They pull up and toss all your yard debris in the back opening of the truck and then yell, “Wamback! Wamback!” It’s some garbage man code, evidently. These guys work, but they don’t have to deal with nasty household garbage like used diapers and stuff.

And lastly, there are the recyclables, which are put curbside in small blue bins. The homeowner is expected to separate the paper, plastic, glass, etc. A fourth “special” recyclables truck with a crew of one picks this stuff up. He actually has to get out of his truck to do this. After dumping all your nicely separated bins into the SAME opening on the side of his truck, he slings your bins into the middle of the street and drives off leaving a cloud of noxious diesel exhaust.

This past Monday, there were all four types of refuse curbside on my street. I watched as all four of these different and unique-to-their-purpose trucks and crews came down the street and performed their assigned tasks. I thought to myself, “What a monumental f***ing waste of money!” How did this come to be like this? Well, it’s simple… follow the money. That’s all you have to do to find the answers to any questions concerning government. Some city muckity-mucks sent their kids to law school on the kickbacks and bribes they got to institute a cluster-screw like this one I’ve described.

Myeh… whaddya’ gonna’ do? I do my part to save the tax payer money. I just shove all four types of refuse into that one big automated can and let that lone, highly paid garbage dude (or dudette sometimes) take it all at once. Woo-hoo! I sleep better at night knowing I did my part.

Wamback, folks!

~Eric

Ummm… GOOD Burger!

Sort of a restaurant review, but really just a story of a nice evening out with family.

About a year ago at one of my aunts & uncles’ every Wednesday afternoon coffee clatches, my aunt Irma mentioned a really great new place to get a burger. It was called Five Guys Burgers and Fries. And they do mean FRIES… and LOTS of ’em; we’ll get to that in a minute, though.

Time went by… I kept meaning to get to this place and try one of their burgers, but just never got around to it. This past Wednesday, at the coffee clatch again, I mentioned that if I had 20 bucks, I’d go to Five Guys for dinner. My same aunt said, “Rip (my uncle) and I will pick you and Steve (my brother) up tomorrow at 6PM and take you guys for a burger on us!” COOL! Of course, as soon as she mentioned this, two of my other aunts and one of my uncles chimed in that they would like to go, too.

The coffee clatch caravan met at my uncle Pete’s house (couple blocks from my house) Thursday night. We left there and went over to Five Guys for some burgers and fries. There were nine of us. The aunts are my father’s sisters. Uncle Pete is my father’s brother. My other uncles there are husbands of my aunts.

When I was working, I was usually off on Wednesdays, so I’ve been participating in the coffee clatch with these folks for a few years now. My brother and I are both retired sans income (unemployed) at the moment, so we both are usually at uncle Pete’s on Wednesdays these days.

OK, so we get to the place, which is only a couple miles from my house. We go up to the counter and place our orders. I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger with mayo, mustard, catsup, and onions… oh, and a large order of fries. We get our drinks and take a seat. In a few minutes, they call our number. My uncle Rip gets up and gets our orders… served in big brown paper bags.

The “large” fries order comes in a 28 oz. paper cup. They set it in the bottom of the paper bag and then pour a huge scoop of additional fries in on top of that. GREASY! YUM! I was warned by my aunt Irma about the amount of fries they serve you. I didn’t care. I LOVE french fries… and these are the real things, not frozen; they are real, live, had-to-peel-’em taters, folks. Damn! They were good, too.

The burger had a really good charbroiled flavor. Everything was fresh and hot. Even the iced tea was tasty! All in all, I’d have to say this was a worthwhile night out. Not everyone was impressed, but then you can’t please everyone all the time. My brother and I both enjoyed our dinner.

From there, we went back to uncle Pete’s for some after dinner coffee and donuts from a local donut shop where my aunt Sandra stopped on the way back to Pete’s house. We laughed and reminisced about fun times… mostly about trips that my aunts and uncles had made to North Carolina years ago to visit with my mom and dad. They were good memories. My mom and dad are both gone from this world. It’s nice to sit with my aunts and uncles and my brother and remember the old times.

If you have a Five Guys nearby you somewhere, stop on in for a burger. Don’t forget them fries!

Until next time, folks…

~Eric