Until someone gets around to writing the definitive handbook on derivatives trading, at least we have Trashy Town (by Andrea Zimmerman, with pictures from Dan Yaccarino) to remind us about the rhapsodies of a job well done:
“Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town!”
Sure, there are occupational hazards (broken bottles, melting lettuce, the mob), still children seem preternaturally disposed to look on the bright side of garbage collection – and who can blame them? Whereas their parents are nominally Identity Consultants and Paradigm Facilitators, and their next door neighbor is a Senior Vice President for Quality Implementation, the guy who rides on the back of a barreling behemoth every daybreak through half-deserted streets, and gets first dibs on everybody’s junk, and (in my neighborhood anyway) dispenses such jolliness whenever youngsters stop to admire his craft, well, there is even some glamour in this little cross-section of the working-life which surrounds us, and awaits us - so much of which sounds more theoretical than it probably is.
We don’t need to be drawing a paycheck from this sort of obfuscation to submit to it, indeed the children where I live work generally harder than the grown-ups, and all of their enrichments and assessments and extra-curriculars are potentially every bit as euphemistic. It’s easy to get sucked in, harder usually to remember where you started, and tempting to file the difference under nostalgia. Seven years ago my son wrote a note to himself (and his parents) which I recently unearthed, and which I had recalled as an elegy to the time before he had a brother, but I’m not so sure about that now.
“I will allways remember the days of icey lemin popsickles and garbaje trucks….” it read, in part. An ode to simplicity? I don’t remember the popsicles, myself, but the arrival of those garbage trucks was something to look forward to every morning at five - growling and popping and wheezing - this before the sun had nearly appeared. He was an early riser for many years like that. The only thing on television at that hour was something beamed somewhere from the Caribbean, I think, called “Gulla Gulla Island,” its theme song still stuck in my head….
On Monday my son graduated from Middle School, next stop High School, then, oh never mind. We move forward – questioning hopefully, though once in a while we are blessed to be able to stop and trust the past.