My garbage man hates me. He never actually tells me this, but I can see it in his eyes each week as I stumble outside in a tired daze and sluggishly move my car so that he can access our dumpster. I think he enjoys giving me these 7 a.m. wake-up calls. It’s his way of saying, “Listen you spoiled brat, if I’m gonna be cleaning up your stupid shit all day, then you’d better believe that you’re gonna suffer with me.” I love my garbage man. I don’t care that he hates me. I love him because I need him.
Isla Vista is perhaps the trashiest place in the world. My backyard parking lot is certainly no exception. This contaminated wasteland is home to a group of territorial seagulls that fight for control of a small mountain of man-made waste. These birds squawk loudly and quarrel violently as they jockey for the top spot on the social ladder. The losers get nothing. The winner gets first dibs on the leftovers of last night’s Kid Cuisine.
This lively backyard ecosystem is great for bird-watchers and mischievous preteens eager to test that whole seagull plus Alka-Seltzer hypothesis, but the overflowing dumpsters are a bit of an eyesore. Fortunately for me, the garbage man removes the unsightly mess each week. I’ve been told that the waste ultimately ends up in New Jersey, that poor people buy homes on top of this trash and that their children often develop bizarre mutations. Whatever, I don’t care what happens to the garbage. The trash itself is boring. Creating the mess is the fun part.
Destruction is cool. I first realized this while watching a destruction derby somewhere in the vast armpit of California’s interior. If you’re not up on your redneck pastimes then you probably don’t know what a destruction derby is. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you. A destruction derby is a derby of destruction in which the drivers of various armored automobiles smash their cars into other drivers’ cars until a single victorious vehicle remains.
I’ve only been to one destruction derby, but it was a memorable affair. The carnage was quick and brutal. Within minutes of the event’s start, several drivers had already lost their cars to the ravages of extreme automobile combat. One of these drivers decided that it would be a good idea to exit his car, climb on top of its roof, and pose for his fans. This was going well until his car burst into flames. Then it was going not so well.
I don’t actually know what it’s like to catch fire, but I do know what it’s like to have a drunken roommate douse my apartment with a fire extinguisher. It’s dusty. I didn’t enjoy the experience very much, but I still congratulated my buddy on his groundbreaking feat. It was an impressive display of destruction. Impressive displays of destruction are what we value most in my household.
We used to have a nice couch. Then we ripped its arm off. Then we tore its springs out. Then we threw it off the balcony. Then we lit it on fire. Am I proud of this? Yes. I’m proud of my destructive accomplishments. They’ve added newfound depth to my life, but this depth has come at a heavy cost.
I’ve been so busy ripping things to shreds that I haven’t had any time to study for school. My overwhelming ignorance has forced me to start cheating in all of my classes. This strategy was working fine for a few years, but an eagle-eyed geography professor recently ended my reign of academic dishonesty. I never thought he’d notice the giant globe that I was hiding in my pants, but I guess a large plastic replica of the Earth doesn’t blend in as well with my genitals as I thought it would. Now I’m about to be expelled.
Things don’t look so good for my future these days. I’m not going to get a college degree. I can’t ever become a doctor, a professor or a lawyer. There aren’t many career options left for me, but at least I can still become a garbage man. It’s filthy work and the pay is lousy, but you can sometimes find Kid Cuisine leftovers in the dumpsters. Kid Cuisine is delicious.
Daily Nexus columnist Nick Pasto would give Big Bird Alka-Seltzer if he had the chance.