The Day Begins
At the crack of dawn, Galen and I packed up the N.O.V.A.S.C.O.T.I.A. and headed
for Hollywood. We made our way to 1617 Vine, the site of Mr. Conway's star, and
set up shop. Once my buttock touched chair, and the trash bag was unfurled and
held snugly in my hand, I felt the excitement that is being a trashcan.
That's when I got the stares. Everybody walking down the street, everyone
walking up the street, everyone on the opposite side of the street, everyone just
stared at me. What a pack of morons... hadn't they ever seen a trashcan before?
I must have sat in the N.O.V.A.S.C.O.T.I.A. for a good forty-five minutes before
the first person approached me. Here is the transcript of that first
HOLLYWOOD CITIZEN: What are you doing?
TRASHCAN: I'm a trashcan.
HOLLYWOOD CITIZEN: You're what?
TRASHCAN: I'm a trashcan.
HOLLYWOOD CITIZEN: Am I on TV?
HOLLYWOOD CITIZEN: Where are the cameras hidden? I can't see the cameras.
TRASHCAN: Oh, for crap's sake.
At this point, Galen interrupted us and told the passerby about my day as a
trashcan and told me that trashcans can't talk, so I shut up. This floored me.
It hit me how much harder this job was going to be if I couldn't talk. I made an
executive decision that moment; I would only talked if addressed specifically.
That did not appease Galen.
The stares and nonsensical conversations continued until about 11, when I got my
first piece of trash. It was a plastic soda bottle. I know what you're
thinking, and I was thinking the same thing. I yelled after the guy to come back
and pick up the bottle and recycle it like we all should. He didn't look back.
Galen smacked me on the back of my head and told me to shut up. Galen was
beginning to get on my nerves.
More people approached me during the lunch hour, and that's when my trash
collecting began in earnest. I got food wrappers, drink cups, soiled newspapers,
empty cigarette packs, wet cardboard, and a brochure for the La Brea Tar Pits. I
also got into a lot of conversations with people, prompting Galen to make a big
"Do Not Talk to Trashcan" sign and hold it behind me. At that point, I believe,
Galen began getting more stares than me.
First Bag's Full
Around one-thirty in the afternoon, I reached the point where my bag is full and
ready to be replaced. A sense of satisfaction rushed over me, for this was a job
well done. Galen took my bag from me and tied it closed. He then left to put
the trashbag in the car and to get a new bag. As I looked around at other
trashcans, it hit me that they were just as full as me, if not more so. But no
one was there to replace their bags.... they just spilled their excess onto the
sidewalk below. Should I then keep my bag until my brethren got emptied? I
posed this question to Galen. He said no, he said shut up, and he said let's
break for lunch. It was at this moment I decided to sucker-punch Galen at the
end of the day.