The Shorty Awards team is thrilled to welcome the SVP of M Booth Matt Hantz to the Shorty Awards Real-Time Academy of Shorty Form Arts & Sciences!
Worst. Picture. Ever.
A few shots from our end-of-summer vacation.
“Garbage disposal — do not put any garbage outside, animals will come and knock the trash cans over and the trash will spill everywhere. You must use the green garbage bags for the recycling center on the turnpike. Separate plastic, paper and general garbage and just drop off there.”
That’s how it read. The garbage disposal instructions for our summer rental house left by the owner, followed by an address for said recycling center that was roughly ten miles away. My first reaction: So let me get this straight, I have to remove my own garbage, load it up in the SUV and drive it to a dump? In this pristine little Long Island town, with only God knows how much tax revenue, you can’t get a garbage truck to come to the house and take out your dirty diapers and beer bottles? Anarchy. I won’t have it.
So for the next two weeks of my family vacation, the following ensues:
- Get out of bed and tell the wife I’m going on a coffee run;
- Cram every piece of garbage – including recyclables – into the nearest plastic/paper/Chanel bag I can find;
- Begin my hunt for discreet garbage cans or dumpsters where I can deposit the remnants of whatever gluttonous feast we had the day before. There’s a local beach that works nicely for a few days (three ten-gallon barrels!), but it’s a private beach, which means the maintenance workers get there pretty early and I’m nearly caught in the act one morning. The nearby high school: a ten-yard dumpster, but with an accompanying sign that reads, “NO DUMPING! Violators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Tough to plead ignorance on that one, which, by the way, is my plan if the cops or recycling Nazis catch me. (Side note: What exactly is “the full extent of the law” in this context?) Behind the grocery store: the mother lode, a 40-yard dumpster with no signage articulating the aforementioned no dumping law that everyone within 50 miles is well aware of. The grocery store lot is a go-to for nearly a week until one day a private sanitation truck driver catches me heaving a plastic bag through a cloud of flies into the dark green metal rectangle and I hear, “Hey, is that household waste?” It immediately occurs to me that I am not only infringing on local ordinances, but am also cutting into the market of private trash removal, this guy’s livelihood. I look at him nonchalantly, pretend I can’t hear him, and then scurry back to my getaway car and pull out of the parking lot. He is following me. My heart is racing. A left turn and then a right. It is likely the lamest car chase in the history of car chases: a 40-year-old dumper in an SUV with two child car seats being followed at ~20mph by a garbage truck driven by a surly local with nothing better to do. I get lucky and hit only green lights for the next five minutes (I’m terrified he would confront me at a red light) before he loses interest and decides to go back to his job of trying not to get Malaria from “household waste”.
By the end of the vacation, I am a professional dumper. I have a mental checklist of the best spots and the best times of day to hit them. I should build an app. Yes, my morality is slightly compromised, but I didn’t have to go to the dump!…which was…how far away was it again? Probably closer than half the places where I risked “the full extent of the law”.
[note: not a true story, nor a reflection of my views on taxes or recycling.]