The Dumpster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             John was just a regular Joe. That is in fact why everybody called him John-Joe. Sounds funny to most but John-Joe actually liked it. It made him feel accepted, part of the crowd in a way. Heck, he figured that no one even had to like him much really, just as long as they acknowledged he existed in some way was enough for him. So, that’s why he didn’t mind the handle given him. John-Joe. You see, let’s call him JJ for the sake of brevity although no one else called him JJ. That was way too cool for some one the likes of him. See, there was something not quite right with JJ. Oh, he wasn’t mentally retarded or anything like that. He wasn’t even just a little slow but most people felt like “he was here because he wasn’t all there”. John-Joe, what a guy.



If he was coming down the street towards you, you might want to cross to the other side. If he was coming up to ask you a question, you might act as though you didn’t hear him. If you were standing in line, say at a checkout counter and he came up right behind you, you might suddenly remember that other item you meant to get and go off down an isle even though it meant giving up your place in line and we all know how important that is. Especially in this day and age of hyper-consumerism.

Some people may have found JJ to be just a little bit scary. Not real frightening but, just a little off  kilter, a little out of whack so to speak.

Like the time the O’connell brothers were standing at the front door of their house in the vestibule looking out the window. They saw JJ walking down the street and they started talking about him. They discussed that rumour where old JJ had a metal plate in his head from an operation he had in a mental hospital. They watched him until he had walked down the street and past their field of vision. Next thing they knew, old JJ was standing right there behind them as they were still peering out the window surveying other things of interest. Apparently JJ had crossed back to their side of the street, walked down their driveway, through the back door, it was never locked and more often left open entirely in summer, and came on down the hall-right behind them! You better believe they were talking about that one for a while.


John-Joe worked for the city of Cranston uimagen-incorporated , as a maintenance engineer. In other words, he was one of the cities two garbage men. JJ didn’t ever drive the truck and he didn’t expect to, not any time in the near future. JJ didn’t have a regular driver’s license much less the class D or whatever you needed to drive a garbage truck. Frankly, JJ had no desire to drive the truck. JJ was afraid of the truck to some degree. Actually he was afraid of the huge container that was the main feature of the truck. The way the motorized back when turned on would reach back  and scoop all the garbage back into itself, like a giant metal mouth. Like a living creature of some kind. Like some what of a huge, menacing metal monster that if you weren’t looking and you got too close, it just might get you! Whoa!

~ by Vinnie on June 13, 2009.

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