Published February 26, 2023

A Slice of Life

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Trash Talk 

I am not at all certain that I know how to reveal what is about to follow, only that I wish to tell the tale in the hope that, somehow, it may elevate my feelings of inadequacy on the subject. Some will categorize the following words as “trash talk”, which I cleverly included in the heading of this column as a sort of pre-emptive diversion. I’ll explain. 

A few weeks ago I removed the plastic garbage bag liner from the garbage can underneath the sink in my home. I pulled the straps of the bag tight, sealing the usual kitchen refuse contents, and as is my usual procedure, placed the package outside my back door. From there, at my earliest opportunity, it is my custom to take the filled trash bag and place it in the official City of Minot receptacle located in the alleyway behind my house. 

It should be noted that the trash receptacles are on wheels. However, deep snow in my backyard prevents any wheeling of the trash can closer to the house. Therefore, I have devised a previously foolproof plan whereby I place the filled trash bag on the cover of the closed bed of my pickup truck, back out of my driveway, and properly escort my filled trash bags to the alley. It’s kind of an honorable send off. 

You have probably already identified a weak point in my plan, namely, that I must remember to stop at the garbage can before proceeding to the location of the keyboard on which I am writing. Before I go any further, let me say that at least I now know how far I can drive through the city before my collection of trash gets randomly deposited at an unknown location. That’s valued information, real trash talk. 

Yes, I recently placed two bags of assorted and wonderful kitchen trash on the roll-up cover of my pickup and neglected, some might say forgot, to drive them around to the alley for proper disposal. I didn’t discover this information until I parked my vehicle in front of my workplace. Cripes! 

Hmmm. A glance at the rear-view mirror confirmed the absence of trash. A moment of awareness. That was followed by an internal debate as to what to do next, considerable trash talk happening in my mind. It went something like this. 

“Someone else will pick it up. No, I should pick it up. It’s probably scattered all over who knows where by now. Maybe my trash is sitting next to the driveway. Are there any contents that will identify me as the number one litter culprit in the city?” 

Not exactly the quickest response, I assure you, but all of this personal debate took but a moment. I decided to retrace my morning route and recover the trash, all of it, no matter what the circumstances. However, I admit, I reserved the right to change my mind. Trashy, huh? 

Fortunately, I found both bags of trash still intact, sitting in the northbound lane of North Broadway. Vehicles were slowing down, driving around them, not trusting exactly what might happen if they ran over them. I pulled into a business driveway and, in my best traffic cop impersonation, threw my arms up to stop traffic, and quickly recovered the now valuable trash. 

From that point it was but a few blocks to my alleyway trash container for proper burial of the matter. I felt good about it too, except for the embarrassment of the momentary hesitation about doing what I knew to be right.  

For a second or two I let my own trash talking, or perhaps trash thinking, get to me. I wonder what the next thing is that I’ll forg 

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