Trash Talking

I went out for a walk the other day, the sun was shining, it was fairly nice outside (well nice for winter anyway) and after days of being cooped up in the house I thought some fresh air would do me, and the kids, some good.

We didn’t venture far, just down to the store for some snacks, and over to Tim Hortons for some hot chocolate. We walked along and drank our chocolatey treats and when our cups were empty I told my son to toss them into a blue box that was sitting alongside the road. Cups in hand he happily trotted over to the recycling bin, and placed the cups inside, but as he turned to continue home a man appeared in the doorway of the house beyond the bins, seemingly the owner of the blue boxes sitting at the curb. The man looked dishevelled, dressed in a tattered robe, and some truly hideous slippers, he yelled out for my son… honestly the situation was like something out of a bad children’s movie;

“Hey little boy, get back here for a minute.” the old man called out to my son.

Stopping my stroller I watched my son slowly turn towards this strange and somewhat creepy old man with hesitation.

“May I ask what you think you were just doing?” The man asked my son. I was curious as to what he thought my son was doing, I mean my son is 7 years-old, and was barely 2 feet from my side, he couldn’t have been causing trouble or damage of any kind.

Looking at me in confusion my son responded, ” I just put our empty coffee cups in the bin because my mom told me to.”

At this response the man then turned to me with full-fledged anger and asked, “and what right do you have to dump you trash in my bin?”

Seriously?? Is this man for real? I could not even belive that he had just said something so stupid… honestly… I think I must have appeared as stunned as I felt because the man continued, “Well…. What gives you that right? You think you can just come and put your trash in someone elses can and expect them to deal with it?”

Suppressing a laugh, I responded with honesty, “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to litter, or carry them along with us, and the bin was right there.”

I guess I thought that would be the end of it, surely this man would understand that I was not trying to fill his bin with trash, or cause any issues. It was two cups in a recycling bin, no big deal. Well apparently to this man it was a big deal, because he didn’t just let it go at that, no seriously, he continued….

“Can you please remove your trash from my bin Ma’am?” He said in a gruff voice pointing to the bins on the side of the street.

“Pardon?” I was in total shock.

Was this man serious? Did he really care that much about two paper cups in his recycling bin? No, this could no be real, no one was this crazy. I could understand if I had dropped an entire bag of garbage into his trash can, but it was two freaking cups in a recycling bin!  Honestly, no matter how much recycling you put out on the street the city will pick it up. WTF is his problem????

“You heard me, remove your trash from my blue bin.” The man replied, now stepping out the doorway and down to the steps of his front entrance.

“You really want me to take my two cups out of your blue box that is simply sitting by the road?” I asked starting to get irritated by this mans clear irrationality.


I laughed out loud, I truly couldn’t help it at this point. “No!” was all I could manage.

“Listen young lady,” hmm… first I was ma’am and now I was young lady, and this senile old man was actually getting angry over two paper cups, “Get your garbage out of my bin, go put it in someone elses bin, I don’t care, I just don’t want it in my bin!”

I could feel my blood starting to boil, I don’t like stupid people on a good day, and this man was clearly the leader of the pack when it comes to idiots. “You want me to take my two cups out of your bin?” I asked, obviously annoyed at this point, and unable to fully believe that this crazy person was actually upset about something so ridiculous.

“What are you slow?” he asked with obvious nuisance, “Yes, I… want…you… to… take… your… trash… out… of… my… bin…. Do you understand me? Or do I have to explain it in a more basic way so you can grasp what I just said?”


Was this really happening? Maybe I fell asleep, and I am having some seriously twisted dream, because I know this 70 year-old sleaze-ball in his tattered goodwill house coat, filthy grey socks, and disgusting excuse for slippers that are obviously slick with scum, did NOT just speak to me like an I am a simpleton….. there is no way this is real!!!

But it was real, and he was serious….

So I did the only proper thing, I removed my trash from his bin, kindly deposited it on his lawn, and carried on home.

I’m sorry old man, I guess I didn’t fully understand your instructions you should have been more clear, after all I’m a bit slow!!!


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