Ten out-of-shape men fall into line. Their bellies hang over their belt. Their faces never knew a razor.
Before them, the General of garbage paces back and forth with an agitated look on his face. He has a profound sense of disgust — for humanity, for trash, and especially for you.
He’s been in many battles and seen many beer cans in his line of duty. And what’s standing in front of him ain’t exactly making him feel like doing the hokey pokey.
Behind the cadets, the whole garbage truck fleet sits and stinks. They’ve seen many miles, they carried many mattresses, and right now, they’re silent, judging the next flock of drivers with mechanical eyes.
“Gentleman,” The general grunts and sends his swagger stick bouncing off the concrete.
The ten recruits salute and pucker both their cheeks.
“At ease.” The general lets out an uneasy sigh.
“You’ve been through Hell.”
He slowly starts to pace up and down the line while clenching his jaw.
“You look like Hell.” The general stops and stares at one particularly dirty cadet whose face is covered in dried mud.
“And out there,” he points to the garbage trucks.
“It’s gonna be hotter than hell.”
One of the cadets gulp. The General watches his Adam’s apple move up and down with grim satisfaction.
“Out there, you’re going to see a lot of sights no man is meant to see.”
“Half-eaten apples, their seeds left to rot in the core. Perfectly good leftovers, never to bask in the warm glow of the uvula. Furniture, still yearning to be sat on, like a puppy longing for a belly rub. And TV’s more lifeless than the brain-dead people who watched them.”
“Ahhhhh!” One cadet screams, momentarily losing his composure.
“Get it together, Matthews!” the general barks.
Matthews shakes off his momentary lapse. The general presses on.
“You see boys, humans are wasteful creatures. They waste their time thinking that the next clock they buy can tick backward. They waste their opportunities, always onto the next one instead of letting their current seeds grow. It seems in their relentless pursuit for more, they learn less and less.”
He stomps the ground.
“And you, dear cadets, are on the front lines of this cosmic dump. Over time, you’ll grasp this undeniable truth: humanity possesses the opposite of the Midas touch. Everything they touch turns to shit, and you’re the unfortunate bastards left to clean it up.”
He looks each cadet in the eye.
“Gentlemen, we’re on the front lines of the war against rubbish, battling the elements: potholes, parasites, and pollution. Out here, we’re not just picking up trash; we’re taking it home too.”
He shakes his fist.
“We’re the last line of defense, preventing our country from turning into a seedy New York back alley. And I don’t want my living room to turn into a seedy New York back alley. Is that okay with you Matthews?”
A vein appears on Matthew’s forehead. He nods.
“So, I only have one question to ask you sorry sons of bitches.” His fiery eyes threatening to burn the cadets down.
“Do you have what it takes to be a garbage man?”
In unison, the cadets take a deep breath before exploding.
“Sir Yes Sir!”
The general smiles.
“Congratulations, you’re a garbage man now.”
Please, like, comment, share and tell me what you think. One of my first jobs ever was essentially being a garbage man and I loved it.