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Down in the DUMPSter

By J. Diamond

To get started on my spring cleaning, I decided to throw out my old rusty 10-speed bicycle in our condo dumpster. The bike had been a fixture on my deck out back for several years now. I carefully planned the event down to the last detail, even timing the disposal strategically after the Monday morning trash pickup. This would allow ample space to dispose of the “item”!

As I drove home at lunchtime, the anticipation grew as I rehearsed the plan again in my mind. I took into consideration that there wouldn’t be much activity around home in the middle of the workday. I ran inside and gobbled down some lunch and proceeded around back to the deck. I wheeled the bike (flat tires and all) gingerly over to the intimidating-looking dumpster area. Since the dumpster is surrounded by a wooden fence it made the operation even more tricky but at least I’d be partially hidden from site .

I had to open the cumbersome wooden door and then roll the bike inside in preparation for the “1-2-3 heave ho”. I was immediately faced with an unanticipated snag. The bike became wedged between the side of the dumpster and the surrounding fence. At this point, slight panic came over me and I thought of leaving the bike there and fleeing from the scene but it’s certainly unlike me to give up – abandon ship. No – I will persevere. Besides, the bike was clearly in the way and the trash people would not remove anything left outside the dumpster.

After at least ten minutes of feverish maneuvering, breathing in the aromatic dumpster fumes, and wrenching my wrist to the bargain – I was finally able to yank it free. I knew I had to work fast so as not to be discovered. Another thing - I had to get back to work – I had already exceeded my lunch hour! For a split second, I thought about totally scrubbing the mission again – returning it to its original location on the deck. There was just no turning back now - I was committed!

It was time for Plan B – but then I realized I didn’t have a Plan B. I forged ahead – I backed it out of the wooden door. I had to find the proper angle of attack to avoid getting the bike stuck again. Just then, a vehicle passed behind me. Since my back was turned, I don’t know if I was caught in the act and if so, by whom?!!! Will this person be “the witness”!?? I managed to move the bike to the other side of the dumpster where there was more room between the fence. I positioned the bike just right and then, pushed it over & in. With an echoing crash, it landed flat on the bottom taking up practically the whole space”. I gave a big sigh of relief! Mission accomplished!!!

I ran back inside to wash up and tend to my battle wounds. On the way back to work, my relief quickly turned to dismay, when I started to imagine the possible scenarios that could arise….all the possible repercussions were becoming apparent.

I recalled how several months earlier, our condo association switched to a new trash pick-up service. Included in our condo meeting minutes were explicit, fussy instructions (from the condo board), explaining proper dumpster dos & don’ts…all the rules and regulations of “dumpster etiquette”. The specific instructions stated: “Make sure trash is placed in the back of the dumpster after the front fills up, so as not to clog up the front and overflow the sides.” There was a warning and signs hung on the dumpster fence stating: “$75 fine for any trash left outside the dumpster…strictly enforced!” WELL - I thought – I guess I’m in the clear- I didn’t leave anything OUTSIDE the dumpster.

Upon further pondering, I wondered if I had done an illegal deed in the eyes of the condo association and/or trash-removal company. I couldn’t remember if it was prohibited to toss anything bigger than a breadbox in our new “receptacle”. Had I broken the ten commandments of dumpster etiquette? The trash removal people would find out and report me to the condo association and then my troubles would begin.

Could I be written up in the condo meeting minutes and held up as an example to the community “of what not to do”??!!! Would I be given a warning and/or citation??? Chastised by my neighbors?...the bearer of the Scarlet Letter!!! – “D” for DUMpster! Oh no!

What about the garbage truck personnel? That hadn’t crossed my mind! What if –when the truck shows up to empty the trash, next Monday morning, it lifts the dumpster flipping it upside down, and my bicycle shoots out like a cannonball, smashing straight through the windshield of the truck, causing serious bodily harm to those poor unsuspecting individuals???

What if the bike crashes down on the top of the truck doing major damage to the vehicle? Will I be responsible for purchasing a new truck? I looked it up on the internet – Those babies run $200K!!! What would my defense be in Judge Judy’s court? Should I call my lawyer??? I think “there’s trouble in River City” with a capital T that rhymes with B that stands for BIKE!!!

© Judy Diamond

* * * * *

Judy Diamond has lived in Atlanta for about 12 years. She has been writing for approximately 5 years. She has always enjoyed words and plays on words and has an affinity for that type of writing with a humorous twist because, "It's just fun and makes you feel good!" She likes to write stories from past experiences and mishaps that end up being very funny later. Visit her website at Hippnotic Press or email [email protected].


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