Letter: What would Dickens write? Maybe this

Posted 12/10/19

To the editor:

After reading the “One man’s trash is another man’s $$$” letter to the editor in the Barrington Times, I thought about pulling on a pair of green yoga pants …

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Letter: What would Dickens write? Maybe this


To the editor:

After reading the “One man’s trash is another man’s $$$” letter to the editor in the Barrington Times, I thought about pulling on a pair of green yoga pants and dressing up as a Grinch and parading by the author’s house in protest. 

Fortunately for the good people of Barrington, I doubt that I could find a pair of tight, lime green yoga pants in 2XL. No doubt if I could, it would cause my better half to pass out from giggling at me while at the same time encouraging me to go for it. 

So instead, I thought “What would Dickens write (WWDW)?” With apologies to Dickens, I think it would go like this:

After putting his trash out on trash night, Ebenezer fell sound asleep knowing that the trash crew would be there in the morning despite the fact that he did not leave an envelope taped to his trash cans. 

In the early morning hours, he awoke to the clatter of trash cans banging around. Jumping out of bed, he saw the ghost of Alan dragging trash cans behind him. 

“Tip the Trash Crew, Tip the Trash Crew!” Alan moaned in his ghostly voice. 

“What do you want?” asked Ebenezer. 

“You will be visited by the three Ghosts of Trash Pick Up. Listen to them!” With that he disappeared.

Shortly after, the Ghost of Trash Pick Past appeared and dragged Ebenezer outside and asked “What do you see?” 

“I see the trash truck going down the street and everyone’s trash has been emptied,” responded Ebenezer. 

“And envelopes. Do you see any of those?” asked the ghost. 

“Only those that may have generously left a holiday tip,” said Ebenezer. 

“That’s right” said the ghost. “You only have to leave a tip if you want to. Your trash will always be picked up anyways.” 

“But isn’t it Quid Pro Quo?” asked Ebenezer. 

With a roll of the eyes and a slight shake the head, the Ghost of Trash Pick Up Past said “No. Not ever.” 

The ghost faded away and was immediately replaced by the ghost of Trash Pick Up Present.

The ghost of Trash Pick Present asked him, “What do you see?” 

Ebenezer responded with a “Yada, yada, yada. Everyone’s trash is picked up. Whatever.” 

“Uh huh” responded the ghost. 

“But oh spirit, what happens when I put out a large metal cabinet? Won’t I have to leave money to get it picked up?” 

“No” said the ghost. “Just do what everyone in Barrington does, drag it to the curb on trash night and the Midnight Metal Munchers will come and consume it and, in the morning, it will be magically gone.

“And if not, do what everyone else does, put it in your car and take it to recycling. You know it’s only a ten-minute drive, right?” 

And with that the ghost of Trash Pick Up Present disappeared.

And then with a banging of metal trash can covers, the ghost of Trash Pick Up Future appeared. The ghost pointed a bony finger at Ebenezer and then at the trash can. Ebenezer, quaking in fright, asked “Spirit, what is it you want me to do?” 

“Dude” responded the ghost, “Put away your trash. It’s been emptied. And stop trashing the trash crew. They are honest, hard working and do a good job.” 

With a snap, the ghost of Trash Pick Up Future was then gone.

Ebenezer awoke with a start, and realizing the errors of his ways, rushed outside to leave a little something for the Trash Pick Up folks to thank them. And then he helped his neighbors put out their trash and even shoveled snow off their walkways. OK, maybe not the snow shoveling part, but while he was at it, he left something for the mail person, the milk person and everyone else that helped him during the year to show thanks and gratitude, but only if he wanted to. 

But to all, he said “Thank You”, because that’s what the good people of Barrington do. All year long.

Lawrence N. Ashley


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