Thursday, January 28, 2010

Garbage Duty

Garbage duty. *sigh*

We have this thing called gomi toban--garbage duty. It only comes around once or twice a year and lasts a single week, so you'd think there's nothing to get excited about. It's pretty simple too.

What happens is on Sunday the previous garbage duty person brings this over to your house-- a chunk of wood on a rope. It says gomi toban.

The person in charge of garbage duty waits until trash has been collected, takes a broom and dustpan, visits the Trash Cage and cleans it. Let me back up. Trash Cage.

Because roads are narrow we don't put our garbage out in front of our houses. Instead we have a designated area for everyone on one or two blocks to use. Here's a picture of the road in front of my place. On the left underneath the red stop sign you can see our garbage area/Trash Cage.

Here's a close up. The netting keeps crows away. In theory. Those birds are smart. I like to listen to them report to each other where the people are and when's the best chance to slip inside the net.

I still remember my first garbage duty. I went to check the cage and it was perfectly clean. Cool. Later that week I checked on our second trash day, perfectly clean. The last trash day of the week I didn't even bother to step inside. I could see that it was fine.

And then the doorbell rung. If you go back up and look at the street shot, you'll see a house across from the cage. Therein lives Snotty Old Lady.

I've actually caught her going through people's garbage bags. I imagine to make sure they are throwing things away properly. But I don't know. I bought myself a shredder.

So what was my offense? Because I didn't actually go inside the cage I missed about 1/8th of
a banana peel wedged in the corner.

Bad, bad, nasty, slimy banana peel.

Yep. She reported me to the neighborhood leader and I had to do another week's duty for my transgression. But I learned. Oh, how I learned. And now I'm proud to say that I'm the best darned garbage duty person there is.

Well, except for Mrs. Snotty Old Lady neighbor. Nothing gets by her.