Civic Government

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Recently, we have been doing some remodeling at church. As anyone who has been in on such a project knows, before you can “make nice”, you have to tear down. We either underestimated the amount of rubble we were going to produce that afternoon or overestimated the size of the dumpster and quickly filled it up.

There’s another dumpster on the property, though. It is labeled, however, “Yard Waste Only.” Still we reasoned that if we called the city and let them know, they would let us get away with it this time.

“Ha-Ha!! What ignorant rubes!” you’re thinking.

See, we called the city and talked to the lady in charge of the dump trucks. The request seemed to fluster her, but she said she would get back at—I mean, “to”—us. The next morning, the city inspector himself shows up to tell us we can’t do that and we’re going to have to get all the non-yard waste stuff out of the yard waste container. So my teenage son and I did that, dutifully transferring all the rubble to the appropriate container (which had been emptied by the city during the meantime).

A couple days later I happened to be in the church parking lot when the city dump truck pulled up to the yard waste container. The driver sent out those mechanical arms, which grasped the green container and dumped the contents into the back of the truck. Then, he pulled up thirty feet to the other dumpster, and promptly dumped its contents into the back of his truck.

Somehow, I doubt that anyone at the Dumas landfill was going to dive through that truck—before or after it disgorged its load—and separate the yard waste from everything else. Made me feel kind of stupid for having gone to all that trouble.

One of the great things about government—from the city level to the state to the national—is that we humor writers can always be assured of having plenty material to work with.