"I would not like nights so bright you could not see the stars." -- Akira Kurosawa

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Atlanta
I grew up in a family of Southern storytellers. Back in 2004, I started Whole Bean to continue the tradition in a new medium. Over the years, I've written about families and friends, peculiar situations, extended road trips, recalcitrant home appliances, and many things for which I'm truly grateful. I hope you enjoy your time here.
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Bin There, Done That


Have you ever noticed how certain items simply cannot be lost, while others vanish almost immediately upon acquisition?  I truly believe that there is some kind of inversely proportional law governing this: the prettier or more expensive the item, the more likely it is to disappear before you've even had a chance to appreciate it, while that ugly umbrella you purchased just inside the front door of Walgreens during a flash flood will stay with you forever.  That's just the way it works.  Such is the case with our flaming red trash bin.

We live in a "close in" suburb of Atlanta, and owing to a mild climate and a preponderance of evergreens, our area remains rather green for most of the year.  Atlanta is home to scores of neighborhoods nestled into groves of trees, giving it an overall park-like feel.  And that is one of the reasons our trash bin is such an aberration: it is a bright shade of red, and it stands out like an 80 gallon traffic cone when placed at the curb.  The other, and perhaps more significant, issue with the bin is that even though we no longer use it, we cannot rid ourselves of it.  It was delivered to us when our younger daughter was seven years old, and she turned twenty-one last July.  At this rate, she will leave home permanently before the bin does.

In our part of Fulton County (home to most of the city of Atlanta), trash collection is contracted by the individual homeowners, and each company appears to pick up on a different day of the week; therefore, on any given day, selected homes will have trash and recycling bins out for collection.  Most of these bins from the various services are green, however, so they blend in with the landscape as much as can be expected.  Sometime around 1997, we switched trash services to a company which brought us this red bin -- it was novel at the time and remained so.  We didn't use that company for long, but when we terminated their service, they never came back for their bin.  Obviously, they didn't want it, either.

Over the years, with each new service we've used, we've tried in earnest to get this bin removed, since each waste removal company provides its own set of bins.  We've kept the red one mostly out of sight in the garage, but this has infuriated my wife, because with its strategic placement along a side wall, it prevents her from opening her Jeep door wide enough to avoid injury.  Basically, no matter where we put the red beast, it is in the way.  Everyone has promised to haul it away, but time and again, it remains there like a scourge upon the landscape.  Just last week, another new service brought out their sparkling, unused 96 gallon bins, and as part of their introductory deal, they promised to remove the thing, but did they?  What do you think?

So there it sits, awaiting a haulaway.  I'm thinking that we're going to have to sneak it out under cover of night to another county, even somewhere outside the metropolitan area, where it can be discarded with no hope of return.  If we don't get rid of it soon, our neighbors, patient people that they are, are going to disown us.  After all, red just doesn't work in a green town...except at Christmas, of course.