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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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I Might be a Redneck....

I Might Be a Redneck

Do you have junk around the house that you want to get rid of? Does the trash man refuse to take it because it is too big to fit in the trashcan? 

Since I am probably one of the few in my neighborhood without a pickup truck, I just keep such items and stick them in the garage or attic, figuring when I get enough for a load, Iíll pay someone to haul it away. But I never do. It just sits there accumulating dust until I move to another house or the junk takes over and I am forced to get rid of it. Sounds like a redneck, huh?

Well, maybe YOU donít do this, but I have a feeling rednecks are not the only ones. Some people canít even park the car in their garage any more because it is already full - or they have to buy storage sheds just for junk. 

Anyhow, the other day I was out in the garage when I stumbled on a rusty old file cabinet in the corner, far past the point of salvaging. I really needed to get rid of that eyesore. It has just been sitting there taking away valuable storage space. Being a poor but proud redneck, however, I hated to pay somebody $20 to haul it away.

Then I remembered seeing this place over on the other side town with a fence around it and big containers. It had a sign on it that said Community Disposal Center. Maybe I could give it a try. I decided to check it out first, so I went for a short drive. 

Iím telling you, this was a fantastic place! They had huge containers for discarded household items. They had bins for items that can be recycled if you are environmentally inclined, and finally they had compactors for people determined to be their own garbage man.

Has my life become so monotonous that a trash dump excites me, I wondered? I overheard one of the attendants say that county government provides it to help prevent illegal dumping. Guess it probably helps keep stuff off of porches and out of front yards too. Well, I wouldnít go that far, but it is pretty hard to find a convenient dump, especially in an urban area.

With the help of my less-than-excited partner, I loaded that file cabinet in his SUV and took it off to the Community Disposal Center. I was absolutely thrilled! Now I could trim those overgrown trees with a bit of help from my partner again. Iíd been putting it off because of the problem of disposing of the limbs. No more problems! A day of pruning, a couple of trips to the Disposal Center and the limbs were taken care of. Next thing you know, we might even feel inspired to mow the grass.

Then I remembered that old wheelbarrow I wanted to get rid off, the one with the wheel that keeps falling off and the concrete that dried up in it. That was another trip. I am getting to be their best customer. I may get my redneck membership card revoked if I donít watch out! 

Iím having so much fun hauling away junk, there soon wonít be much left at home. Old mattresses, old furniture, old appliances, tree limbs - you name it - they have it. Can you believe I actually saw one guy over there dumping an old couch? Guess he didnít have room on the front porch for it.

Itís pretty sad when getting rid of junk becomes a major life experience. I never would have believed that it would come to this. But now I can actually think about cleaning the attic. There must be all sorts of junk up there I could throw out. This could provide me with the incentive I need to get rid of 10 years of accumulation. Yes, I have reached a new low. It takes so little to amuse me these days.

Donít you wish that you could find a place to get rid of your junk? And, no, donít even think about bringing all to me. I have enough of my own, thanks - unless, of course, it is a rusty car with a good transmission. Iím sure I could find a spot for that someplace.

Copyright 2002 Sheila Moss


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