© Copyright 2011 - Trashy Trashbag - Used by permission
Storycodes: FFF/f; capture; wrap; enclose; dumpster; trashbags; encase; stuck; dumped; nc; XX
Linda pulled her Toyota Yaris into the drive leading to the back of the daycare center where she worked. It had taken her two years to work up to the manager position, an incredible feat when you consider that she wasn't overly fond of children. She originally took the job because it was a choice between working at the daycare center or the local doner kebab joint. She figured it would be easier dealing with children than drunks and bovver boys jonesing for transfat-saturated meat products. The job was easier than she'd anticipated, though she still winced whenever one of the children hollered or yelped.
She was about to pull into her spot by a copse of trees when she glanced at the dumpster by the building and immediately saw red. The large American-style skip was almost full with shiny black bags of rubbish and a few cardboard nappy boxes. She walked over to the dumpster and felt up several of the trashbags. Lots of paper. Loads of styrofoam plates and plastic-coated paper cups. The odd ink cartridge from the printer.
Her deputy manager, Stephie, was in the kitchenette, making her coffee, when Linda stormed in. "What the hell?" she screamed at Stephie. "For two years now -- two years! -- I've asked you to set up a recycling scheme. That skip is heaving with rubbish, a good 80 percent of which could be recycled. I mean, you threw ink cartridges away!"
"I thought you said a recycling scheme would be too expensive?" Stephie defended herself.
"No, I never said that. You thought that and put words in my mouth," Linda shot back.
"We can't find a recycling contractor to take ink cartridges," Stephie asserted.
"Again, no! What you mean is that you cannot be bothered to find anyone. Fucking hell, contact Staples, they're who we get our printer supplies from! They will take the old ink cartridges away with new deliveries. You're just lazy, Steph."
Stephie frowned and fumed inwardly at the insult.
"What's going on?" one of the childcare workers, Danielle, said, stepping into the kitchenette for a cup of coffee of her own.
Linda wheeled on Danielle. "I'd normally tell you that it's none of your business, but you're one of the worst offenders when it comes to the amount of rubbish we create around here. It was your idea to serve the children their elevenses on foam plates and their drinks in those plastic-covered paper cups. You think that shit's going to biodegrade just because it's paper?"
"It was a cost-saving measure," Danielle said. "The supermarket sells that stuff really cheap."
"Christ!" Linda shouted. "Saving costs, are we? The supermarket sells suppositories really cheap too, Danielle, so why don't you buy some and stick a few of those up your arse?"
Danielle's mouth dropped and she looked over at Stephie. Both women gave each other a dumfounded look that said, Can you believe this bullshit?
Linda was shouting at them both now. "You want to save costs? RECYCLE! How much do you think we're paying the council for the binmen to empty that heaving skip twice a week?"
Laura, another childcare worker, having just arrived for work, now walked into the kitchenette. "What's all the yelling about, folks?"
"It's none of your business!" Linda screamed at her. "Get into rec room and prepare for the children." Laura stood her ground, more out of shock than rebelliousness. "Now!" Laura fled.
Stephie folded her arms and glared at Linda. "Look, just because it's obviously your time of the month ..."
"Fuck off," Linda declared. She pointed at Stephie and Danielle and, in a growly voice, ushered the following ultimatum: "You will institute a recycling program here, and it will be in place and ready to roll by the end of today. You understand me? I want to see a bin for printer and fax paper in the office. I want to see bins for newspapers and cans here in the kitchen. I want to see a separate bin outside for cardboard boxes. I want you to stop using disposable plates and cups and invest in some china and silverware. And I never want to see an ink cartridge in the rubbish again. There will be HELL if I ever lay eyes on that again!"
Linda stomped off to her office, slamming the door shut behind her.
* * * * *
Danielle thought, "God must have taken pity on us. We've had a pretty good morning."
All twenty children had been remarkably, mysteriously, happy and co-operative, bothering neither their adult caretakers nor each other. When they had their half-hour nap at noon, Stephie, Danielle and Laura gathered in the kitchenette for their lunch. Linda was absent, eating by herself and still ruminating in her office.
"I'll be honest," Danielle said between bites of a bagel. "If another woman talked to me on the street the way Linda did this morning, I'd have put her in hospital."
"I hear you," Stephie said. "All this over rubbish! I know we should recycle, but it's not been a priority."
"I'd think the children would be a bigger priority," Laura ventured.
"Exactly," Danielle said. "Jesus, she wants us to get ceramic plates and mugs and metal cutlery for the kids? That's just too much."
Stephie tapped her lips and contemplated the ceiling. Then she smirked. "Maybe Linda is so outraged by rubbish because she's afraid of it? Don't you think?" Danielle and Laura gave her bemused looks.
"It's the classic obsessive-compulsive reaction," Stephie went on. "She's got a bee in her bonnet about the rubbish because it appalls her, more than it would a normal person. I mean, I don't expect anyone would be pleased by the sight of all those binbags and boxes in the skip, but they wouldn't throw a wobbly over it either."
"You think she's an earthy-crunchy?" Danielle asked.
"Who the hell knows?" Laura said. "But she needs a taste of her own medicine."
"That's exactly my point," Stephie said. "We'll deliver that medicine. Girls, we're gonna see to it that she becomes very intimate with that rubbish out there. Now, here's what we do ..."
At four o'clock, when the children left for the day, and it was time to clear up, they set their plan into action. Danielle set a nearly invisible trip wire at ankle height in the doorway between the kitchenette and recreation room. Stephie stood in a corner of the rec room, out of sight, clutching a cricket bat. Laura sat in the kitchen, with a roll of plastic wrap by her side. They knew Linda was going to be in her office a while longer, taking care of end-of-the-day faxes and e-mails.
"Oh damn!" Danielle shouted. "Linda, sorry to disturb you, but we need your help in the rec room!"
Linda opened the door and walked out of the office, her heels clicking on the tile floor of the kitchen. "What is it? I don't suppose you've done anything about the recycling program yeeee ..." Linda tripped over the wire and landed with a thud on the floor of the recreation room, the wind knocked out of her.
Stephie rushed over and whacked her on the right leg with the bat. The "thwack" of the impact was followed by a slight cracking sound. Linda's leg had just been broken.
"Oooaaawwwww!" Linda howled.
Laura rushed in with the roll of plastic wrap. Danielle, the strongest, held Linda down while Stephie and Laura set about wrapping Linda up in the clingfilm. The plastic wrap squealed as it left the roll and covered Linda up.
"Now listen to that lovely plastic, Linda, and it's gonna end up in the skip!" Stephie taunted her as she lay immobilized by pain, shortness of breath and the rapidly thickening cocoon of plastic film surrounding her.
"You wouldn't ..." Linda croaked. Stephie smirked at her.
"Yep. All this gorgeous plastic will end up in the trash ... because that's where you're going!"
Laura wheeled a dolly into the room and all three women hauled Linda onto it. Then they wheeled her toward the dumpster. "NO!" Linda hollered on her way out the back door, the skip suddenly appearing in her view. Giggling, the three women lifted Linda off the dolly and positioned her on the ledge of the side opening to the dumpster.
"Nooooo ...!" Linda screamed again as she was pushed through the opening and landed squarely in the middle of the trashbags. She tried desperately to free herself, but she was too constricted by the plastic wrap, and her wild, frantic movements only succeeded in her bouncing up and down on the trash with a crunching, crackling sound.
Meanwhile, Laura gathered all the trash from the day, filling two bags with the disposable plates, cups and sporks, the day's newspapers, office wastepaper, fruit scraps, other bits of food, soda cans, juice bottles, and used nappies. She walked toward the dumpster with the bags which were groaning from the sheer weight of trash they contained.
She hauled the first bag into the dumpster. "Geronimo!" she yelled as she sent it flying into the skip while Danielle and Stephie clutched each other from laughing so hard. The crunch of the trash was immediately followed by an anguished "oof!" Laura then picked up the second large bag of trash, hurled it in and was rewarded by another moan of pain from Linda.
They slid the door to the side opening shut and walked away cackling, leaving Linda in the dark with all the trash. Linda heard the back door slam shut and then the scrabbling of their shoes on the pavement as Stephie, Danielle and Laura got into their respective cars and drove away. She was sweating, and now all she could hear was the groaning of the plastic wrap holding her in place, the rustling of the trash bags and the crunching of the trash inside them. She could smell the rapidly fermenting scraps of fruit, the pulpy smell of paper, and the products of twenty children's bladders and bowels from the used diapers. She felt some yogurt from a container leaking over her face.
"I'm rubbish," Linda sobbed. "Just a piece of rubbish in the skip."
* * * * *
Morning came and the sight of an empty dumpster greeted Stephie, Danielle and Laura as they reported for work. Stephie took over as acting manager with Danielle as her deputy and two weeks later, a friendly man named Craig took over as manager. He joked around with the three women and they enjoyed having him as their boss.
No-one ever heard again from Linda, destined to join the category of missing person for the rest of time.
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