The Trash Man

Quinn is visiting. My grandson, age 5, is delighted with swimming at the beach near where I live, with his summer daycare where they let him climb almost as high as he wants to, and with taking out the trash.

I’m living in an old three-story residence hotel no longer staffed by doormen but with a still intact green awning and long genteel hallways. To take out the trash, you head out the apartment door, turn left, walk almost a city block along the hallway in that direction, turn right down another hall, and there it is:

The Trash Chute!

You yank the metal door open and sling the trash into the chute, and it goes whack thwack thump wallop slam bang down three floors and into the dumpster in the basement.

Since his first time taking out the trash two days ago with me, Quinn has asked at least two dozen times if the bag is full enough yet. This time, I’ve said it probably is, but then I’ve gone down to the car to get something. I get back just as he opens the door with a half full trash bag clutched in his hands.

“What are you doing?” I ask.

“I’m the trash man,” he says as though I should know that. “I’m taking out the trash.”

“Well, you know,” I say, “trash men get dressed before they take out the trash.”

“They do?” he says, staring down at his underpants.”

“They do,” I say.

“OK, Grandma. Here, you hold the bag. I’ll put my pants on.”