Super Garbage Sunday

A Green Bin in Toronto, used for the municipal...

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Cont’d —

I pointed out that there is no garbage pickup on Sundays.  The answer back, as he huffed out the door, was that it was for Monday morning’s pickup.  Since I am living above the garage (with a dead squirrel) I can see right around the house from the back to the front.  This is prime sports event seating for any event.  But especially Sunday’s event, “Super Garbage Sunday.”  Yep, I got to watch John take out a week of newspapers from the inner green recycling bin, fold them and then tie them all neatly before carefully putting them into the outside green recycling bin.  Oh, but this was only the first quarter sports fans.  The real game started when John struggled to move the big green bin from the back to the front of the house without trying to swear — an impossible feat for someone who’s an honory member of the Olympic Territs syndrome team.  Each step consisted of a variation of classic swear words.  Ah, fuck.  Ah, fuck me.  Ah, fucking hell.  I counted at least 60 variations of the word fuck which helped me count how many steps he takes to the end of the front driveway.  He got it there after repositioning it at least twenty times for the truck to take it.  Once satisfied, he marched back to the side of the house, only to utter one last fuck phrase as he caught a dog taking a very satisfying piss on the green bin.

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Garbage Time

So, woke up today with him at my feet holding garbage bag.  I swear he’s watched way too many serial killer movies.  I wasn’t that worried he was there for me as the bag looked a bit heavy.  But I was worried that someone’s head might be in it.  Instead he asked the famous, only one way to answer, question “Are you awake?” 

Once I said “yes” he dashed to my garbage can and emptied it of the week’s garbage, which consisted of two Q-tips and perhaps some dust.  As my feet hit the floor, John asked me why I had not brought down the garbage the night before as it’s garbage day.  Since the Q-tips are white and the bin is white I actually couldn’t see that there was anything actually in the bin.  Well, that’s not a good enough answer from someone questioning you at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning.  Cont’d…

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It’s not a squirrel it’s a fucking rat? Kill the bastard!

That’s right.  It’s a rat that is living above me.  I discovered that the pitter-patter is the feet of a rat and not a squirrel.  My mother’s hairdresser told my mom that that’s what they sounded like.  So, with this expert advice, my mom and I at 1:25  am, stood half asleep on my bed and listened as best we could as the rat scurried back and forth above us.  Yep, we concurred — it is a rat up there.

This all came about after I spent well over three hours going up and down a ladder to the roof to set up that squirrel trap.  I started at exactly 8:25 am.  I needed to do it at that specific time because that is when John isn’t around.  Remember?  He didn’t want me to be up on the roof putting, as he put it, “a fucking whale trap on my roof.”  So, because we ran into some trouble setting it up, he arrived home at his usual 9:15 am arrival time seeing pale-faced me up on the ladder with the trap in hand while my mom held her feet against the ladder on the ground to hold me in place.

He looked at my mom, then the ladder… then way up the ladder at me.  A beat — as both my mom and I knew we were caught red-handed with our hands in the cookie jar trap so to speak.  Some funny swear words were about to be unleashed across the neighborhood.  “Christ, what the hell are you two fucking idiots doing now?”  came out of John’s mouth.  I felt safe from the question as I was way up the ladder and pretended to not hear or see him.  Well, actually the seeing part was hard because he and I had already eye jousted for what felt like eternity before the question.  “We’re putting up the Christmas lights.” answered my mom smiling her best smile.  John just huffed “oh” and went inside.

My mom looked at me serious “Sometimes the best answer is the dumbest”  I guess it is because he didn’t bother us for the next few hours, even as I banged and kicked and struggled to finally lock the trap around the chimney directly above where John sits and reads until his lunchtime.

Once in place I had to put bait into the trap – aka peanut butter on a piece of bread.  Easy right?  Nope.  Not with John having his lunch at the usual 11:30 feeding time.  It was actually 11:29 when he walked into the kitchen and saw me putting peanut butter on a slice of bread.  “You fucking hate that shit.  Why are you eating now anyway?  Didn’t you just finish your breakfast 3 hours ago.”

“I’m a bit hungry from putting all those lights on the roof.” I quickly retorted as I walked to the back door.  “What the hell are you going outside to eat it for?  It’s as cold as a nun’s tit out there.”  “I don’t want the crumbs on the floor” I managed to say.  “Well make sure you don’t get it on the deck either because we just had it painted four months ago you know.”   “I won’t.”

I walked outside thinking I was free.  However, from the corner of my eye, I could see him watching me from the kitchen window.  My mom picked up a broom and started sweeping the deck to distract John’s gaze.  But it didn’t work.  I forced myself to eat two mouthfuls of peanut butter before he turned away to make his own lunch.

As I went back up the ladder my mom stopped me.  “You forgot this” as she handed me a huge circle of Christmas lights.  “Don’t forget to make sure that they can be seen from the front of the house”  “But it’s September.”  She glared at me,  “You sure you want to answer to who-know-who as to why you’ve spent over 3 hours on the roof of this house and yet there are no Christmas lights up there?”

She had a point.

Suffice to say, at the end of all of this manual work by me,  the trap is still empty, the peanut butter is starting to smell and that darn rat is still racing over my head as it trains for the Rat Olympics while keeping me awake every night.

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No fucking way. They’ll think I’m a pedophile.

“Well at least you’ll have free room and board for the rest of your life and I could sell the home and move into the condo I always wanted overlooking the canal.” said my mother.  “They’re your grandchildren for crying out loud.”

I, of course lay as flat to the floor as possible as the two Q-tips (old folks) went at it like two verbal jousting knights of grey-haired armor.

“They’ve got fast fucking little feet.  They can walk to the corner and I’ll meet the little shit disturbers there.” answered John.  “But I am not standing outside their school waiting for someone to arrest me.  An old fart like me hovering back and forth cowering at those fucking children coming out of school was not on my “things-to-do” list when I retired.  “Was being a huge pain in the ass, grumpy old fart who does nothing but complain about everything on that list?  Silence.  Then she added, “Have you ever liked anything?  Because nothing remotely construed as nice has ever come out of those flapping, stupid lips of yours.  I mean it.  Tell me what you’ve liked.”

Of course this was one of those questions I knew not to ask John.  But my mom was fearless with him.  Being married to him she was entitled to ask any question she wanted to at least get an answer out of him before she’d probably kick his teeth in.

“I like when you shut the hell up and leave me alone.” he responded.  She didn’t give him any way out, “I’d gladly do that.  Only it won’t work.  You’ll end up complaining that I don’t tell you to stop complaining.  So… what else makes you happy?”

He snapped “Not having to answer that stupid fucking question from some nagging old woman.”

I was really flat on the floor now.  If I ever wanted to be a small speck of dust on this planet, this was the time.  My mom then looked at me and said with a smile  “And now I’ll tell him to go for a walk to cool down.  Which he’ll do because he doesn’t want to deal with me questioning him about how much a pain in the butt he is because… he knows its true.  And the best part of it is that his walk will turn out to be the walk to the school to get his grandchildren.”

“I’m going for a God-damn walk” he shouted as he slammed the back door heading out.   My mom was fast answering “Don’t forget to go to the school to get your grandkids.”

We could hear him outside shouting back at her, “fuck the fucking little fuckers — ah shit, I might as well now that I’m doing this stupid walk thanks to you, you stupid old cow”

My giggling mom put her hand on my shoulder as I rose up from the floor and said, “You’d never guess that he was kicked out of anger management class would you.”

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There is no squirrel… there is no squirrel

Yep.  The 5:59 breakfast voice greeted me with another zinger.  This one was shouted out when I mentioned that I was awoken at 4 am by what sounded like someone scratching in the ceiling directly above me.  John stated that it was him staggering in the night to the toilet to take a piss.  But I countered his statement with the question of “If it was you then you did it in the ceiling above my head because this sound was literally directly above me.” Surprisingly he had no answer.   I had won the right for silence in the house for at least ten seconds.  Just enough time to get a fresh new cup of that delicious coffee he had bought me 24 hours earlier at the nearby gas station (By the way, he was most upset with the fact that the grocery store was not open at 6:07 am!).

Then John revved it up a notch.  “What did it sound like… exactly?” he blurted out.  Gulping down my coffee I said “I think it’s a squirrel and if that’s the case I can probably borrow my buddy John’s squirrel trap.”   “Leave the fucking squirrel to play with its nuts”  was his worldly retort.  I wanted to respond to him with “So you want a squirrel playing with its nuts living in the ceiling above your step-son?” but I bit my tongue.  Instead, I said that it was important to not have a squirrel living in the roof of his house as it was probably doing things up there that he himself was doing at precisely the same time.

Wrong thing to say.  “Are you fucking accusing me of playing with my nuts at 4 am this morning?”  The conversation ended right then and there as I repeated softly to myself over and over again  “there is no squirrel…. there is no squirrel… there is no squirrel!”

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In the beginning God said “get the hell out of bed”

Those are the words spoken to me upon the beginning of my new life living with my mom and step-father as I march towards my 50th birthday.  It was yelled to me by my step-father at 5:50 am and was followed by “your breakfast is ready and it’s raining out.”  I will refer to him as John since in this dwelling the only thing that matters is the “Gospel of John.”   At least that’s what he thinks he is as my mother stated to me the previous night while moving into their house.

Being half asleep, I slowly placed my feet on the floor wondering exactly where I was and who that strange but nicely dressed man was that woke me up like that.  As I put my underwear on backwards I suddenly heard downstairs the lovely morning sounds of my step-father John cursing like a drunken sailor on his first night back in harbor.  “Ah, Christ, I’ve fucking done it again.”  Thinking the worst, I rushed downstairs into the kitchen.  I knew I could handle anything as I had taken CPR courses for just such instances.

As I barreled in I saw a stone-faced John with one arm over the dishwasher and the other holding his personal coffee cup.  “What’s wrong John?” I hesitantly muttered.  “I forgot to empty the fucking dishwasher last night.”  Now, in the history of mankind’s terrible tragedies, this is right up there with the likes of “I forgot how to blink” and “That bastard didn’t call me back.”  So I didn’t know what to say.

At this point John insisted that I eat my breakfast in the next five minutes or it will go soggy.  He had already poured the milk over the cereal that he had decided for me and had placed exactly one cup of orange juice into the glass next to it.  Of course the thing I was craving for most was coffee.  So I asked him if they had any in the house.  This was probably one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever done in my life —

“No.  We don’t have any fucking coffee.  What the fuck do you want coffee for anyway?  All it does is make you jumpy as you piss every 15 minutes all over the toilet seat, which I just cleaned five minutes ago.  Oh, what the fuck, it’s pissing down like a racehorse outside so I might as well go get some for you, right?  But you can just fucking wait until I finish emptying the dishwasher before you expect me to go marching outside to get wetter than a cock in a whore’s pussy.”

Wow right?  Now remember the time this was happening at.  Exactly 5:59 am.  At this exact moment I realized that I was going to have an interesting time living in this strange household.  But that, at the very least, it would be a very good story to tell people.  And that is the reason for this blog.  Because if I don’t write about it as it happens, no one is going to ever believe it…. including me.   ——

P.S. — just a last minute update.  I left to go out for a few hours and discovered that my mom had read this blog, my very first blog about my life here.  This is what she wrote.

“Surely all this is a BIG exaggeration son?    At least I am hoping that it is!!    Who in their right mind could ever live with a man like that!   I know I couldn’t!!   This notation is from your old Mum.”

I have decided to keep my luggage bag next to my bed in case I must leave safely in the middle of the night.

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