Trash day is usually a good day at our house. Besides the fact that it’s on a Friday, there’s something renewing about coming home to empty cans, ready to take on the next week’s surprises.

A few months ago trash day was extra exciting because according to the notice we got from the trash company, we were getting new cans. New cans on trash pick up day. What could be better? In our constant work-a-day lives, where there is so little to look forward to, sometimes getting excited about new garbage cans is the best we can do.

Therefore, you can imagine my disappointment when Jerry and I got home that night to find that our new cans had not arrived. Close examination of the premises the next day, along with a careful forensic analysis of Jessopland webcam footage indicated that the neighbors may have swiped our shiny new cans.

While most normal people would simply confront said neighbors and ask for return of the cans, I opted for a more passive aggressive approach which involved sullen looks towards their collection of new cans, bitter complaining and constant calls to Waste Management negotiating, demanding and finally begging for new cans. I decided that Waste Management and the Castro Valley Sanitation district were the true villains in this conflict. For two weeks they promised to deliver new cans during the daily phone calls I made. And for two weeks we went without cans.

The missing can controversy was made worse by the fact that Jerry spent that same two weeks traveling for work. Without my husband around to keep me in check, my obsession about the missing cans got a little out of hand and my behavior got a little wacky. 

Thursday nights were the worst as I packed the trash and recycling in feeble plastic bags. For good measure I neatly tagged them with blunt notes like “We need cans, NOW” and “Where the hell are my CANS?” Dragging the bags to the corner would strike even more fury as I eyed everyone else’s cans, smugly lined up on the curb. One night I couldn’t help it and found myself shrieking “It’s just not right!” to a passing group of teenagers.

Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore. Since the constant phone calls obviously did no good, I had not other choice but to take matters into my own hands. I had heard rumors of trucks driving around the neighborhood bearing new cans and decided to take the day off work to see if they really existed.

I awoke to the sounds of garbage trucks early that Friday morning. Armed with a giant pot of coffee to keep me fortified, I spent the next three hours watching Food Network and ER reruns, venturing out to the end of the driveway scouting for trucks during commercials.

At 10:30am, graced by what could only be a divine miracle because I had just changed out of my pink bathrobe into an understated pair of grey sweatpants, I spotted in the living room window a pick-up truck pulling a flat bed trailer loaded with Waste Management trash bins. Like a bullet I shot out of the house and raced down the end of the drive way only to see that the truck driving by and not leaving a single can on our curb.

“NOOOOOO!” I wailed as I chased after the truck. I broke into a sprint, but of course could not keep up with my pathetic 12 minute/mile pace. The truck had turned the corner before I could catch their attention.

Defeated, I turned around and slowly walked back to the house. I felt hopeless and defeated and envisioned myself dragging plastic bags full of trash to the corner every Thursday night for the next 20 years. Then I looked up and saw another truck, piled high with cans. Elated, I broke into a run toward the truck, waved my arms and flagged them down. When they stopped I jumped for joy and I cried out, “We need cans! We need cans!”

The guy standing on the back of the trailer motioned his head toward the driver. “Give him your address m’am.”

I skipped to the open cab window and called out our address. The driver examined his clipboard and shook his head. “Sorry m’am.”

Sorry…what? NO!” I screamed. “There must be some mistake. Look again.”

“I’m sorry m’am. You’re not on the list.”

Panic swept through me. This couldn’t be happening. I stepped closer to the truck and leaned my head into the cab and quietly growled, resisting all urges to grab the guy by his shirt collar, “You listen to me and listen good. I’ve been calling your office every day for the past two weeks begging. I don’t give a shit what your clipboard says, you’re leaving me some god-damned cans!

He stared at my crazy face for a moment and then leaned his head out the window and called back, “Leave this lady some cans. Give her the big ones.”

I know I must have looked like a crazy woman, cackling as I dragged my new cans up the driveway but the sense of triumph I felt was extremely rewarding.  I even called Jerry and breathlessly detailed the morning adventure.  That’s solving a crisis Jessopland style. 

As we suspected, when we last left off, the bloody foot was in fact “the queen” feeding.  The rest of the episode was less predictable, but unfortunately did not make it more interesting.  Let’s just destroy Mary Ann and get on with next season, although at this point I’d be fine if the show doesn’t get renewed.  There was absolutely nothing about this episode that inspired or entertained me.  I can’t even lust after Eric anymore thanks to that brilliant move of putting him in a housecoat and giving him Tara’s mother’s voice.  Thanks Alan Ball, thanks a lot! 

My impression overall: YAWN!