Humor Columnist



















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

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Talking Trash...

Talking Trash

Iím talking trash today.  What else can one do when one is up to their chin in the stuff?  For some reason, my trash men have become too uppity to take anything unless it is packaged a certain way to meet their specifications.

It used to be, when I first moved out to the boondocks, that trash pickup services wanted your business.  They would knock on the door, leave flyers, and practically beg you to use their service instead of the less convenient competitors that made you drag the trashcans to the curb.

You see, in unincorporated areas, we do not have such conveniences as a municipal trash service.  For all they care, you can bury it in your back yard or haul it yourself.  Therefore, it is up to the suburban homeowner to find a private trash company and hire them to do the dirty deed if it is done.

My new trash folks were great.  They came up in the driveway right to the cans and took anything there twice a week.  Even the extra rubbish from holidays or yard work magically disappeared in the early dawn unnoticed.

Then the price went up. Later the amount of trash they would collect became limited to two cans.  Eventually, they only took what was in a plastic bag and only if it did not exceed a certain weight.  Finally, they started coming only once per week.

The rules eventually became so numerous, that I lost track.  I just started putting it out there and if it remained after a week, it didnít meet the guidelines.

Trash that doesnít meet the guidelines can become a real problem.  There was the ceramic flowerpot they refused to take because it was too heavy.  I got rid of it by smashing it into small pieces and sneaking it into the garbage a piece at the time.

Shrub and tree trimmings were broken into bits and stuffed into trash bags so they looked like ordinary trash.  It was a nightmare.  I finally found that the county has a recycling and disposal center.  I donít have to spend any more time breaking things into bits, but I do have to go during certain hours when they are open and haul the stuff in my car or enlist a friend with a truck.

Then the other day I made the mistake of hiring my daughterís friend to rake up the spoiled apples under the apple tree.  He bagged them and placed them by the trashcans.  The trash man didnít even give them a second glance, only the trash that met specifications was removed.

Flies gathered as the apples began to decompose in the bags and leak.  What to do?  Repressing my gag reflex, I double bagged them and put them in one of the empty trashcans.  Apparently, specifications were not met, as they are still there.  I donít know whatís wrong.  They must be too heavy.  Or maybe trashbags need to be tied with a pink ribbon now.

I am simply at my witís end.  The trashcan is full of apples and insects.  I have no place to put real trash.  I canít haul the mess to the disposal center because I canít lift the can and the bags might leak in the car.

And they wonder why rednecks have washing machines and refrigerators on the porch?  This is why!  The trash man wonít take it - if there is one.  You canít break it into bits and the disposal center is closed even if you had a truck, and could lift it and figure out where to take it.

Iíll figure out something, donít worry.  If worse comes to worse, Iíll hire my daughterís friend to haul them away.  Actually, Iím beginning to wonder if that was his plan all along.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

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