There is another new rule in regard to how to make it easier for the hard-working men of Republic Services; now we, the paying customers, have to measure the distance between one trash can and another.
Oh yeah, I have to also mention that now we have to separate our dirty garbage into two colored trash cans to make it easy for the collectors so they don’t have to separate the garbage into different classifications themselves.
AND now the two containers have to be hauled out to the sidewalk and placed two feet from each other, otherwise the boys do not take it to the truck.
Last week my friend did just that; she hauled the trash to the sidewalk one at the time, and the boys from Republic Services did not take her trash. When she called me to tell me that they did not take her trash, I started digging (I love digging) and I found out that now the garbage cans have to be placed on the street and not on the sidewalk like it used to be for the last sixty years that I can remember.
Yeah, you read that right: now the trash has to be placed on the street, one colored can two feet from the other colored can; so I went to visit my friend and took a marker and a ruler with me.
I explained to her that now the trashcan has to be placed on the street “to make it easy to be picked up” and has to be two feet from other cans. I pulled out my ruler and my marker and walked with her to the exact place where she was ordered by the “generals” of Republic Service to place the colored trash can; I drew a line with my marker, measured two feet and drew another line, and explained to my friend that from now on her trash can has to be placed by these lines or the Republic boys will not take her trash.
Before I left I advised her that if the city code enforcement people knock on her door and asks her why she paints graffiti on the sidewalk to not tell them that it is not graffiti, but to say instead that it is a mark to help her to know where to place the trashcans; I told her to tell city code enforcement that she does not speak English (no hablo Inglés) and if they think she is Mexican, she can get away with everything and anything.
She cries that the garbage is no longer picked up twice a week and she wanted to know why. I explained to her that people from Republic were crying because twice a week was too much for their employees so now they do not even come once a week but once every ten days.
I saw the satisfaction on her face and I asked her why she was so happy if just a minute ago she was complaining that they no longer picked the trash up twice a week and she mentioned that now the trash bill will probably be lower than it used to be.
I explained to my friend that I did the same thing with a relative of mine; I went there and painted two marks on the street where the trash cans are supposed to be placed and now they pick her trash up with no problem.
I also explained to her that the code enforcement officials make it easier for the non-English speaking customers than for those who speak English.
On another note, my relative’s neighbor built an apartment in his backyard, with a porch, a glass door, and a light on the porch; the code enforcement and building inspectors insulted my intelligence by calling it a shack, but I told them that I have never seen a shack of the same height as all the houses on the block, to say nothing of the porch and the glass doors.
Then her neighbor made a driveway entrance on the west side of his house and a car that was never seen before is now parked in that spot.
But going back to my friend’s happiness for assuming that her trash bill was going to be lower, I couldn’t find the courage to tell her that the garbage bill will stay the same as it was when they collected trash twice a week.
I did not have the heart to tell her that that is the American way; higher bills and less service, and more political contributions (notice that I said political contributions, which are legal and not considered bribes) to public officials.
Seems as though life in the real world is dealing with code enforcement, building inspectors, garbage in and garbage out. I am glad that I live from hotel to hotel, with every night in a different bed — like a sailor, but with a bed (rather than a girl) in every port.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
* * * * *
Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.