Sam's Humor

These essays were written in 1995 and are still funny to this day. Enjoy them! Don't steal them!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Did you take the trash out?

by Sam Palahnuk

It’s Tuesday night here in Beautiful Downtown Burbank, and that means trash-night. This is the night dreaded by all residents, when we shamelessly parade out to the street, many of us wearing robes, night-shirts, and bunny-slippers awkwardly maneuvering our gigantic plastic “robot-friendly” trash cans into the street -- being sure not to put closer than 2 feet apart -- otherwise the automated trash truck can’t get the giant claw around the cans forcing some sort of computer overload which results in the truck to run amok -- using it’s robotic arm to pick up innocent pedestrians, lifting them 15 feet up, and then shaking them violently above the truck, then putting them back down again.

Well, trash-night means going around the house to our 45 separate tiny waste-baskets and collecting all of their trash. I was emptying the bathroom waste-basket when I noticed that the drain pipe was leaking, leaving a unwelcome puddle inside the cabinet under the sink. I set the big trash bag and the tiny bathroom waste basket down and made my way to the garage to get my toolbox. The leak had to be fixed, and it was my manly duty to fix it.

I grabbed the tool box and noticed that my pipe-wrench was suspiciously missing. Hmmm. I needed that wrench to fix the drain. I remembered loaning the wrench to my across the street neighbor Randal. I put down the box outside the bathroom so I’d remember it, and darted across the street being sure to avoid being run over by the old-man-who-rides-his-bicycle-so-slow-i- should-fall-over-but-it-doesn’t.

I called out Randal’s name, Randal, and he answered me even though he was not visible. It was something out of the Ten Commandments. His god-like voice started laughing “I’m up here Sam!” Sure enough, Randal was on the roof installing his remarkably cool 18” satellite dish. It was my sworn duty, as Randal’s across the street neighbor to help him out, as installing an 18” satellite dish is obviously a two man job. Randal and I struggled with wires, compasses and other such manly satellite installation stuff for quite a while until we realized we could get no further until we had a certain bracket that was suspiciously missing. No problem, on Tuesday nights the hardware store, “Hell Base”, was open until 9:00.

We jumped into Randal’s black convertible “Mid-life Crisis-mobile” and we were off -- rock and roll playin’ as we went. Hell Base is the second home to any home-owner. I’ve spent more money in this friggn’ place than I care to think about, and I hate it, as any home-owner with the brain of a chicken would, but here I was -- again. Randal was saying something to me, but I could hear him over all of the loud and unintelligible announcements. I just followed him from isle to isle, nodding my head pretending I could understand him, leaping over spilled boxes of merchandise as I went.

The clamp lie before us, alone on the shelf like the holy grail itself. A single yet powerful ray of light fell on it from the ceiling to guide us there. Randal snapped up the clamp and we where off.

After several hours in line, and actually waiting in line to exit the parking lot, we were finally out of there. We both swore never to go there ever again -- as we always did.

Suddenly I noticed that the music has developed an unusual beat. The smell of rubber told me that it wasn’t the Stones, it was the Wheels -- a flat tire. Randal and I waited for the tow truck to arrive. I called my wife Shannon to tell her of my escapades and that I would be home late.

Finally, I got home to find all of the lights off, and Shannon tucked in bed sound asleep. I quietly slipped under the sheets and nodded off. The dogs where so tired they didn’t even get up to greet me.

My deep slumber was interrupted by the terrifying sound a the pre-dawn robot trash truck. Ak! I had not taken the gigantic plastic “robot-friendly” trash cans out yet! I threw on a robe and ran out. I was quite a sight for the entire neighborhood to see -- my hair was standing up as if I had just been electrocuted and my eyes were red like those of a vampire, and I was wearing a tattered purple robe with holes in it. I got to the can and rushed it onto the street just in time for the robot claw to close, thus saving the lives of dozens of innocent pedestrians (see above.)

As the arm raised I felt a sense of satisfaction knowing that I had made it in time even though cars were now slowing down as they passed me, kids asking their parents “Mommy, Is that man standing there in a robe and bunny slippers an electrocuted vampire?”

The robot arm began the violent shaking as it dumped the contents of the gigantic plastic “robot-friendly” trash can, only NOT to dump the contents of the gigantic plastic “robot-friendly” trash can. Yikes! I had never finished collecting the trash, so I had just put out an empty gigantic plastic “robot-friendly” trash can. How embarassing!

Hanging my head low in complete defeat I slipped back inside. “Did you miss the truck again, sweetie?” my wife mumbled, half asleep. “Yes, I did -- as usual” I said as I walked down the hall toward the bathroom. “Don’t trip on the toolbox” she said just as I crashed my toes into the steel box.

Word Count: 964

Copyright 1995 Sam Palahnuk
Do not duplicate or distribute without written permission of the author.


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