War on Trash: Day 25 (pole position)

Posted on July 16th, 2009 Won't you help brighten a lonely comment's day?

It was a hard slog today.

Every surface scrubbed, every possible source of food triple wrapped; still the fruit fly population seems to have doubled overnight. Their strategy appears to involve coating all my traps with the bodies of their dead, allowing the few that survive to fly kamikaze into the first available orifice:

fly paper

Someone thought that printing house flies on the paper was a good idea. Momentarily fool you into thinking it’s more effective than it actually is, maybe?

The return of the 4 a.m. import glee club across the street compounded the struggle, making today very long and generally painful. Dragging my ass through the garbage battlefield in my dozy state would have been dangerous, so I chose instead to do a desk-bound reconnaissance of this conflict’s past through the Toronto Archives.

As always, I was left in awe of what people of the past were able to cope with; how much they were able to do with the simple mud streets and steamy horse shit they were given. The garbage collectors pulled the garbage carts around by themselves like real men. There would always be a partner to help position the pole (barely visible in the photo) from behind.

pole dancer

In the fifties, garbage collectors relaxed a bit as they were now relegated to merely tossing their cans in the rear. The white garbage trucks were probably a bad call, but at least the initial collectors on duty could be assured of looking fabulous while in them. Of course after repeated use, the back sides would become quite filthy.

2 men, many cups

Ah, those were the gay ol’ days. But that changed almost as soon as the union barged in, plopped on the couch, and cracked a beer. In no time flat, the city was employing five supervisors to one garbage collector.

five supervisors

And pretty soon the messy business we’re dealing with now took form in the appointment of two additional government clerks to ensure proper work apportioning. Everyone was fully qualified for one specific duty and also given special training to cease to comprehend English when a task was in danger of falling outside that duty, or on break time.

five supervisors, two managers

It’s not really so hard to understand how we got here, is it? If history teaches anything, it’s that modern-day garbage collectors are not expressing their flair nearly enough. No wonder they’re so pissy!

And there’s your golden nugget of knowledge for today. Tomorrow, if I get to sleep before dawn, maybe something else.

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