Saturday, September 09, 2017

skeleton crew

This is a garbage story. Masquerading as an umbrella tale.

When the fabric on my umbrella was reduced to rags by the storm that blew through a month ago, I was not concerned. The fabric is actually separate from the frame. And mine needed replacing from sun exposure. The storm just sped me along on a decision I had already made.

The solution was not that simple, though. When I returned from my trip to Australia last spring, the umbrella was leaning. I tried several ways of getting it into the correct erect state, but nothing seemed to work. It was like having a little piece of Pisa in the patio.

I needed to take the umbrella down to rip the remaining fabric off of the frame. That is when I discovered the problem. The bottom portion of the umbrella pole had rotted away. If I had just replaced the top, I could have hosted the Toulouse-Lautrec Society reunion -- but no one over that height.

You know the result from yesterday's essay (let a smile be your umbrella). I am now the owner of a completely new umbrella. Frame and top.

I was then faced with the problem of disposing the old frame. Getting rid of the fabric was easy. I ripped it off of the frame and put it in a garbage bag. The garbage men picked it up yesterday.

I thought getting rid of the frame would be just that simple. (That is a lie. I knew I was going to have trouble getting rid of it.) I left the frame outside my house along with the fabric bag. Even though the bag disappeared, the frame did not.

And I know why. Our garbage collection system is different than up north. The garbage trucks are modern. But that is where the comparison ends.

The driver steers the truck through oiur neighborhood while two assistants follow on foot gathering up the various garbage bags. They then toss the bags up to a fellow worker haphazardly balanced on  the ever-increasing pile of garbage bags.

That is why the frame is still napping on my sidewalk. It is simply too heavy to toss up to the guy in the garbage pit. Plus, it would take up too much room. By the time the truck gets to my house, the box is usually filled to the brim.

My only hope is that someone will spot the frame and decide it has some value to them. Perhaps, the mayor of Munchkinland. Otherwise, I will need an alternative disposal plan.

I am on my way to the airport this afternoon for a short trip to Oregon. Maybe when I return, there will be a vacancy in front of my house.


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