Ruins Of The Day
When we moved into our house, we didn’t have the furniture for a formal dining room and didn’t feel the need for one anyway. Since Lo was only two, we decided just to use that space as a playroom for her until we got in the mood to entertain anyone besides our closest friends and immediate family, something that never happened.
Lo rarely actually plays in there these days, but the toys continue to pile up and I continue to throw them into the various boxes, crates, and wagons, or to create little stacks against the wall. And every so often, Biggy goes through and sneaks out a few items—games with missing pieces or stuffed animals she’s lost interest in or should have outgrown. Ideally, he shoves these deep in the curbside trash, and Miss Lo is none the wiser.
If only things had gone so smoothly this time.
Yesterday’s toy box casualty was a three-year-old stuffed Spiderman doll, about four feet tall, that Lo had decorated with glitter paint back when she got it. She never plays with it anymore, but it must move itself around the house, because I’m always tripping over it—in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the closet.
Biggy placed the doll in the big Waste Management receptacle, making sure to cover it up good with pizza boxes and newspaper. She’d have never missed it, either, if the garbage men hadn’t decided to make it their mascot.
As luck would have it, the garbage truck came while the elementary school kids were all standing around the bus stop with their parents (Biggy’s job, in our case), waiting for their ride. Once the truck had finished loading up in the cul-de-sac, it headed back out, past the bus stop, whereupon one of the dads, Steve, exclaimed, “Look, it’s Spiderman!” Indeed, Spiderman was hanging on the back of the truck, hooked where a shovel might ordinarily go.
Lo was horrified. Biggy was panic-stricken.
But wait—there was hope. The truck made some progress but was in sight, when Steve shouted, “Hey, Spiderman fell off in the street!” Biggy would be saved. With the bus pulling up, he promised Lo he’d go rescue what had now been promoted to Favorite Friend status. With Lo still in shock but snuffling her relief, the bus took off for school, and Biggy started walking up the road.
Alas, before he could get within shouting distance, the garbage men, having discovered Spidey missing, returned to retrieve him in the nick of time, then disappeared, leaving only the stench of sour milk, dirty diapers, and rotten potato peelings.
I wouldn’t want to be Biggy when Lola gets home.