Opal and I had a weekend guest. A lovely time was had by all… yada, yada. However, by the time that my best bud returned home, she was hit by an overwhelming sense of guilt. Her crime? At some point, I mentioned that I had a little problem. Kind-hearted soul that she is, she enquired as to the nature of my distress. That was all the encouragement I needed to bear my soul.
TWO MONTHS AGO, I called the HRM call center (Halifax Regional Municipality) to request the installation of a litter basket at the bus stop near my home. I thought I had lucked out when I actually got a call centre operator whom I know personally. What are the chances?! … the same woman to whom I had GIVEN a desk via an Internet ad. My garbage can was as good as delivered to my corner, I thought. I told ‘T’ (operator) all about my situation; I have no where to dump my guide dog, Opal’s poop bags if she relieves herself on the way to the bus stop. In the past, I would ‘park’ them by the bus shelter and collect them on the way home… IF I returned via the same route, and IF I remembered. “All I want is a litter basket somewhere by the shelter, or attached to the pole”. “No problem”, claims ‘T’. Several weeks later I began to doubt ‘T’ ‘s influence on the public works department when my garbage container failed to materialize. I called again, referring to the 10 digit number assigned to my report. I was told to be patient. On my last and 6th call to the HRM call centre, I asked the one-name wonder at the end of the line (NOT ‘T’) if she thought I should start leaving my poop filled bags IN the bus shelter, or perhaps bring them ONTO THE BUS? (I imagined bringing them to the mayor’s office) She did not seem to think those options were viable. Mindy, Suzette, or whatever her name was, went on to say that there was a backlog of work in Halifax from this past WINTER. I suggested that perhaps the city was too busy chopping down trees on Chebucto Road ( 12 protesters were arrested that day trying to save trees from senseless demise for unpopular road expansion) to take care of its obligations. She told me in her deadpan voice that it was an “unrelated issue”.
So, as my friend listened to my tale of woe about my battle with the city, she became most interested in the part about the garbage can at the bus stop ACROSS the street from my stop. I told her that if it weren’t for the traffic and the ‘crosswalk of death’ to get to that container, I might consider using it.
Maybe it was the blueberry pancakes I had made for breakfast or Opal’s winning smile that made her do it… More to the point, my friend took a stroll up to the corner ( Sunday morning 6 am and quite deadsville at the time) and uhm… moved re-located the garbage container to my side of the street. I was really impressed! Those cans weigh upwards of 35 pounds! We rationalized that this had been a Robin Hood type of situation.
I made a poop bag ‘deposit’ on the way to the bus stop four hours later. I’m in heaven! My friend, on the other hand is experiencing an attack of guilt. She considered turning herself in (to the call centre), but thought better of it when I told her that our city was crazy enough to bust her for it. Look what they do to tree huggers in Halifax, I pointed out. So, in lieu of my pal calling the HRM call center, I hereby confess by proxy on her behalf. Take that public works! … and maybe revise the original request. Send a new can to the opposite side of the street instead.