50 secrets your trash collector won’t tell you


That esteemed trash and garbage picker-upper of yours — the offal reaper of life’s remains — may know more about you than you’d like. He won’t let on, though, which is why we’ll tell you now the secrets to which he’s privy. You may be shocked to discover some of them.

Secret Number 1: What you think you have pitched may still be around— and closer than you think. Think of the thousands of felons across the country who lost their gun rights, only to regain them due to the lobbying by pro-gun groups. See what I mean? Still around.

Secret Number 2: What you consider trash may be someone else’s treasure. Take Alabama’s new immigration law. It treats as trash the newcomers who work the fields, but those same immigrants were vital to the state’s economy, as everyone can now see. They were trashed, like what you put out for me.

Secret Number 3: Some things you’ve been holding onto like precious heirlooms you should have ditched a long time ago. It seems there’s always money around for wars and bank bailouts — our precious heirlooms — but not for the 24 million Americans out of work, 47 million who can’t afford their food, or the 15 million who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Your trash man thinks you need to turn all of that around.

Secret Number 4: Your dumpster may not smell that bad, but it won’t get any raves on “Antique Road Show,” either. Our nation’s roads and bridges aren’t yet all crumbling, but neither have I heard anyone raving, “Oh, my! What precious highways you’ve got! You must have been storing them in your attic somewhere!”

Secret Number 5: No matter how few—or many—friends you think you have, the neighborhood’s rodents think you’re the greatest. You’re like the people with incomes over $2 million. Taxing them would shave more than $1 trillion off the deficit, according to economist Paul Krugman. That would help a lot, and they’d be the greatest!

Secret Number 6: Last week the city landfill refused to accept your contribution. That’s got to mean something, though I’m not sure what. You remind me of the congressional super-committee that couldn’t even come up with a compromise to save our nation’s economy. Like yours, their contribution wasn’t accepted either, mostly because they didn’t have one.

Secret Number 7: Garbage and trash may not enjoy a great reputation among the world’s most prized objects. Yours, though, give me lots to talk to my wife about when I go home at night. That’s all some national leaders seem to do is to talk: Global warming is a hoax! Obama is a Muslim! Tax cuts pay for themselves! It’s all the Fed’s fault! The stimulus program created zero jobs! They’ve repeated their garbage and trash talk so often they actually seem to believe it.

Secret Number 8: Your smelly feet and dirty fingernails have become too much for me to bear, when I pass by your house every week. Some of your trash even seems only too happy to make it to the dump. You’re like those big East Coast bankers who refuse to clean up their act. The smelly operation they’ve pulled off gives me the creeps, too.

Secret Number 9: You need to stop eating so much sugar and fat. It’s not good for your cholesterol. All the lies thrown around in current campaigns are like sugar and fat that can’t help but cause plenty of harm.

Secret Number 10: I saw you scrounging through your neighbors’ trash before dawn this morning. If you need something, why don’t you just go down to a thrift store like everyone else?

You may know that the natural gas Keystone XL pipeline from Canada would trash the environment, but that doesn’t seem to stop its backers. They’re still scrounging through the trash.

Secrets Number 11 to 50 will have to wait for another time. I don’t have the nerve or the taste buds to tell them to you now.

Kozeny has worked as a teacher, counselor, and in pastoral ministry. He can be reached by e-mail to tkozfreespirit@netzero.net.