I am filled with deep shame. I came home to learn I had violated the Trash Code of Conduct and had been singled out as part of a special Trash Control Task Force (Or TCTF for short) when it was noted that I’d committed the following offense;


Side note; this is the place where I once saw a fully nude man, but for a pair of sneakers, attempt to burn his girlfriend’s apartment building down. And this was not the first, nor the last time outdoor nudity was fully embraced by my delightful Florida neighbors.

But that is no excuse for my behavior and I am suitably ashamed of my box. Despite my usual cleanliness with it, during the winter months I have a tendency to let it get out of control.

All sexually charged apologies aside, I did need some clarification on a few of the items in the OFFICIAL NOTICE OF TRASH VIOLATION. Please clarify the following;

  • Always use your trash can

Every single day, all the time? Seems a little impractical to carry that large box around everywhere I go, but hey I’ll slap some straps on it and carry it as a backpack. So my questions are; do you have any straps, and does the box come in blue?

  • Blue bags are for recycling only

All the blue bags? Complete autonomy on all my box and bag related activities seems a bit excessive for the cost of $25 per month, especially seeing I’ve never recycled in my life. I mean you aren’t my mother, stop attempting to control my life.  I have no desire to recycle my blue bags but if you have a blue trash can/backpack, I’ll trade you.

  • Trash must not weigh more than 25 pounds

What about my large gemstone collection that I’ve grown bored with? I suppose I will have Jeeves take it to my personal vault. My question here is; How rich do you think I am that I have at least 25 pounds of stuff to throw away? What do you think I do in here, run a bakery/meth lab?

  • Always tie and bag your trash

That seems too harsh. Can I gently caress it into submission instead?

  • Not really a question but an observation: Place your trash out between 5 and 7 pm

Technically we were within the guidelines, because I distinctly remember placing the garbage out at 5 AM on Thursday, before it was picked up promptly at 7 PM on Sunday.

Finally, you guys left an area open for comments so I did have one observation I wanted to add. Have you ever noticed, when faced with a really aggressive bee, it feels like it’s singled you out for attack specifically? Like it’s a fully sentient being out for revenge, because maybe you killed its bee grandfather 20 years ago? Doesn’t that creep you out? I friggen hate bees.


The Devolution of a Neighborhood

I’ve been in denial for awhile, but it’s time to admit it. My neighborhood has become a ghetto.

When I first moved in, it was a simple, quiet gated community on the edge of a wealthier town. Most of the people who lived here were middle-class, white collar workers who spent their days in the offices right up the street. Even when the signs started to appear that this place was going down hill, I ignored them.

When one of my neighbors tried to burn his girlfriend’s apartment down, while completely stark naked I just said “Hey, it’s already hot enough here. If you’re going to light a fire, you need to stay cool.” When a man got into a police standoff a few blocks over, complaining that he was getting messages from the children’s show, “Yo Gabba Gabba” I took it as par for the course in being a Floridian.

When a man drove his car into the 2 foot retention pond and tried to commit suicide, I just assumed he was really bad at suicide.

But I can no longer ignore it, the way I’ve ignored the fact that my neighbors are drug dealers. I can no longer ignore it, because just this morning, I saw ‘ghetto mattress”.


Ghetto mattress never happens in a nice neighborhood. You don’t hear about a lot of residents in Coconut Grove calling the city to have someone’s 16 year old posturpedic removed. No, a mattress on the side of the road happens only where no one really gives a fuck.

Let’s explain the evolution. A ghetto motherfucker wakes up one morning and realizes he needs to get rid of his mattress. Maybe it’s filled with burns because of his crack pipe. Maybe his Rottweiler peed on it. For whatever reason, the mattress is persona-non-grata in his one bedroom apartment.

So here is what he does. He drags the mattress outside and tosses it on top of his 1998 Honda Civic. You know the one. It has a sound system that’s worth more than the car, pitch black window tint and spinning rims.

mattress goes for ride

He makes it about 25 feet with the mattress on top of his car, before he slams on his brakes and the mattress goes flying and lands in what will be its final resting place. This guy then gives himself a hearty pat on the back and walks away, saying ‘well, the mattress is society’s problem now”.

Ghetto mattress will never be moved. It will sit on the side of the road, being used as a trampoline by ghetto motherfucker’s children and as a waste disposal unit for feral cats.  It will sit there for decades, and everyone who drives past it will say ‘who the hell just leaves a mattress on the side of the road?”

Eventually, ghetto mattress will get some friends. He might get some ‘ghetto tires’, or one of those old steel barrels that bums use to light fires in. He might even get a few more mattresses.


Homeless people will discover all these wonderful mattresses for sleeping on, and all these wonderful tires for sitting on. They will make fires in the discarded steel cans until the area where ghetto mattress started looks a lot like this.

homeless camp

Yes, I’m saying it. The journey to having a homeless camp in your back yard begins with one solitary mattress. So it’s looking like it’s time to move again. On the upside, at least I know what to do with all my old mattresses.