“I’ve found these two guys, uninvited, trespassing in neighbor’s yards, flipped over, spilling their guts out throughout the landscape.”

When residents of Lake Havasu City first received word they’d be getting large trash and recycling cans on wheels like other modern cities, there was a big hullabaloo over the decision. Some folks complained they wouldn’t be able to take these contraptions down steep driveways without disaster. I’d imagine there were a few spectacular crashes, but I never read about them in the newspaper.

A few disgruntled people didn’t like the color and suggested more of a desert hue. Leave them out in the blazing Arizona sun long enough and they’ll eventually turn that way. Some residents just saw red. I’m thinking it’s been at least three years now since these receptacles came into our lives, but who’s keeping track?

We’ve had ours long enough to have a few good stories to share. It seems weather has been a great factor behind most of them. For whatever reason, Havasu winds seem to start blowing on Sunday night, and not stop until after the trash trucks have done their job.

“Vince” and “Larry” have taken countless tumbles because of this common, at least around these parts, phenomenon. If you’re wondering who Vince and Larry are, they’re the names I gave to my plastic buddies. Vince is trash while Larry’s recycling. I switch them around on occasion, so that no longtime psychological damage is done.

You might remember Vince and Larry as being crash test dummies on the long running, National Traffic Safety Foundation, television commercials. Well, my blue buddies have also taken a beating and kept on ticking, although not on the same level as being inside vehicles that continually run into brick walls.

I’ve found these two guys, uninvited, trespassing in neighbor’s yards, flipped over, spilling their guts out throughout the landscape. It’s amazing how fast aluminum soda cans roll down the street with Mariah pushing them. If you’re now wondering who Mariah is, undoubtedly, you weren’t here fifty five years ago.

This lovely name comes from the 1965 movie, Paint Your Wagon, starring Jean Seberg, Clint Eastwood, and Lee Marvin. A popular song in that film titled, “They Call the Wind Mariah” was sung by Harve Presnell. I call the wind Mariah on certain occasions along with some unfavorable names as well, such as “stinking” and “darn.”

Cans have been discovered loitering in our driveway as I backed out of the garage. One of them managed to roll a distance of five houses, remain upright, before parking itself directly in my path. Our next door neighbor’s can slid down the road in pure agony before stopping outside our front door. I could hear it coming.

Thinking that perhaps I’d came up with a superb plan for keeping their mouths closed during strong gusts, I taped Vince and Larry’s shut. It worked a bit too well because after the garbage trucks had come and gone, both cans were still full. Since that time, I’ve experimented and found just the right combination. Clear packing tape works best especially when rain is present, with just a slight amount taped to the lid so it’ll break free when dumped.

Vince and Larry are a little banged up from all they’ve gone through but they’re tough and resilient. I believe Vince might’ve been struck by a sleepy driver early one morning, but thankfully, nothing on our security cameras showed such. He has a nice indention on one of his backside corners evidently caused by a vehicle bumper, ironically matching the height of ours.

I only hope they survive for as long as I’m around. I’ve become quite attached to these guys, enough so, that I truly appreciate the thankless job they do!

Author: michaeldexterhankins

ordinary average guy

2 thoughts on “VINCE, LARRY, & MARIAH”

  1. Good story Pal. Do you remember the times in Alaska when the cans would slide down the street on the ice and snow during that occasional wind storm. That’s how you got to meet all your neighbors on your street. Is this your can? I’m not sure. lol . Good story, Roger


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