Good Morning blog fans. It’s time for a short scene, yes?

Today’s scene is inspired by a REAL EVENT. I have to say inspired because there were some creative liberties taken. But read and discuss.

Just don’t steal it. Be cool.

My neighbor is a jerk. 

Of course, I should’ve known. Since the moment he moved in my dog has absolutely hated him. Dogs are supposed to be great judges of character. That’s meaningless in the face of the fact that he’s not moving and neither am I. So I deal with him, as does my dog. 

But today I was reminded what a jerk he is. Sit down, I’ll tell you a story. 

The trashcans went out to the curb at 7:00 this morning (or likely a little before) as my husband made his way out to work. I left the house at 7:30 to bring the kids to school and get some errands done. I didn’t get home until about 9:45. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when I arrived home. I did my work, paying absolutely no attention to the neighbor and whether he was home or not. 

Around 12:00 the wind really picked up. I was working in silence, so I heard the trash cans being knocked around. Figuring I’d rather bring them up to the house and out of the wind now than chase them down the street later, I went out to get them. As I was bringing them up to the house, I noticed the regular garbage (not recycle) can smelled TERRIBLE. I flipped the lid open, looking to see if something was up with it. It was crawling with maggots. 

Totally grossed out, I ran into the house and grabbed the bottle of bleach. I poured a bunch into the can. Then it was time to get the kids from school. I figured I would do a more thorough cleaning of the garbage can after picking the kids up. I rationalized that this would give the bleach time to do its job. 

I got home around 1:15. Immediately I put the kids to work on homework and went out with the hose to take care of the trashcan. I rinsed and power washed that nasty thing for a good thirty minutes. At one point I did see my neighbor come out front and bring his recycle bin back up to the side of his house. I noticed he left the trash can down at the curb. I thought that was an odd choice. Of course, we didn’t speak because we don’t do that. 

I finished what I was doing and headed back inside. The trashcan looked (and smelled) much better thanks to the bleach and the power wash. 

I’m not sure how much time passed between that event and what came next. It was enough time for the kids to do a few chores, complain about how much I was asking them to do, and watch a television show. Then I sent them off to their rooms to get a little more cleaning done and I sat in silence with a book. 

That’s when I saw it happen. 

My neighbor wheeled his trashcan right by my front window. I went to the window to see what in the world he was doing. Who takes their trash can for a walk? Do you know what that jerk did? He wheeled his trashcan up to my house and swapped his empty trash can with my clean and empty trash can. 

I can think of two possible reasons for this garbage receptacle swap and, honestly, both of them make him a grade-A jerk.

Situation 1: Neighbor notices he has maggots in the morning when taking out trash can. Sees our can at the curb. Decides to swap them instead of taking care of his maggot problem. Later, after seeing we have treated the problem, decides he would like his trash can back.

Situation 2: Neighbor notices our trash can is being cleaned out. He can’t remember the last time he cleaned his trash can. He wonders if he should. Seems easier to just go swap his dirty one for the clean one.

I don’t really care about the garbage can, honestly. We have one that appears to be unbroken, so does he. In fact, I’m proud of myself. I saw a problem and I fixed it with a level head and a mature solution. I didn’t panic. I didn’t overreact. At the end of the day, it’s just a trash can. I don’t know why he swapped it. I don’t care why he swapped it. It’s just lead me to the inescapable conclusion that my neighbor is a jerk. 

My dog was right all along.

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