The absolute worst moment, and the one that often kicks off a 48 hour screamfest, is on Wednesday morning, when the great stinking scow makes its way down our alley, a mere forty feet from the playroom in the back of the house. The playroom that features big glass sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling windows so we can enjoy the view of our weedpatch, frumpy detached garage, and the dusty alley beyond.
When I hear the squeal and hiss of the beast slowing to turn down the alley, the fight-or-flight mechanism in my nervous system cranks into high gear. There is a tingling of spine, a sharpening of vision, a retraction of vulnerable bits. At first, this reaction was just preparation for the onslaught of frantic children that would come at me from any and all directions, screaming "JURBAGE CHUCK JURBAGE CHUCK!"
But now it has become something more.
Although I know that the likelihood of a garbage truck crushing our garage, plowing through the deck, smashing into the back of the house, and then pummeling us with its giant green forks is much less likely than us being killed by lightning, or even by lightning bugs, I have developed a primal fear of that machine. My grownup, logical brain is, of course, able to overcome the reptilian lower functions within a few seconds; but at that terrible instant when the truck releases a psshht of extra pneumatic brake pressure, I'm as jumpy as a feral cat.