I don't know why it appeared in my head. But it made me remember I have been intimately involved with rubbish all my life. In fact, taking out the garbage was on my list of chores as soon as I was old enough to have chores (right up there with feeding the hamster). I figure it's a lifelong thing for everyone. In fact, my last words to the grim reaper will probably be, "I'm sorry I can't be dead yet, I have to take the garbage out."
We have the all-Canadian rural tradition of weekly dump runs, trash talk, and the new Olympic sport of dumpster diving behind high-end restaurants. Garbage wasn't always such a big deal, of course. But since the industrial revolution and the discovery of plastic, high density apartment buildings and disposable diapers, things aren't made to last. In fact, the health of our entire world economy is based on the luxury of throwing what we buy into a garbage can as soon as possible.
So I got to thinking about this garbage thing and what a growth industry it is. As long as there are people you're going to have a constant supply of stuff they discard. And sometimes I think if I had just gotten into trash in my younger years I could have probably retired well before now, and be bald and hairy-backed, living in some trailer park in Florida with a hot trophy wife; popping wheelies in my very own golf cart. People at the trailer park clubhouse would ask "So, where did you make your money, Rand?" and I'd proudly say, "In garbage." And they'd say, "Gee, you smell pretty good for a guy who worked in garbage all his life." Then they'd laugh so hard at their own joke that their false teeth would fall out into their rye and ginger and they'd pee themselves a little.
Yeah, that would have been pretty cool. Here's Shel...