Garbage Cans and Purgatory

Garbage Cans and Purgatory

Garbage Cans and Purgatory

Our kitchen garbage can is actually 24 years old. I bought it when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Jared. And it really is in good condition, considering its age. As my dear step-father would say, it doesn’t owe me anything.

The only problem with it is that the lid’s opening is in front, versus on the top. So to throw trash away, you have to use your hand — or the actual trash — to push the flap in and then you can throw your garbage away by opening your hand and letting it drop. Sometimes it is best to just lift the lid off and throw things away — this is particularly true with coffee grounds.

Anyhow, it all works perfectly fine for my husband and I but the boys inevitably get the lid covered with food and I am washing the flap of the lid at least 3 times a week.

I recently saw a really nice shiny, new garbage can that had an automatic lid. It is an actual motion sensor so whenever you wave your trash near the lid it opens up — from the top — and you can drop your trash in without getting it everywhere. It is battery-powered. I bought it.

When my husband John walked in from work the other day, he looked at the box, read the words “Automatic Lid!” and remained quiet, God bless him.

Then, on the weekend, he patiently opened the box and put the trash can together with its batteries in the lid. Barely speaking a word as he worked, I knew he was going to support me in my quest for a kitchen garbage can that required less clean up. Or at least that’s the story I choose to believe.

Once the can was put together and turned “on,” John lovingly smiled at me (I’m pretty sure it was a smile of love) — his job was done — and then he walked past the garbage can and towards the living room.

John’s movement was detected by the lid and the lid dutifully opened. Hmmm….we wondered how far the motion detector worked on the thing and soon discovered that the only way to avoid activating the lid was to hug the wall opposite the can, or belly crawl, as we passed.

And still not a word from John as he read through the instructions to see if the lid would work without batteries. Nope.

As I went to get the packaging so we could return the can, I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe.

My Aunt Polly always says that John is going straight to Heaven. “No Purgatory time for this man,” is what she says.

I finally agree.

Copyright 2012 Cheryl Dickow


About Author

We welcome guest contributors who graciously volunteer their writing for our readers. Please support our guest writers by visiting their sites, purchasing their work, and leaving comments to thank them for sharing their gifts here on To inquire about serving as a guest contributor, contact [email protected]


  1. I need to suggest to Lisa Hendey that she implement some kind of icon that can go at the top of posts like this so readers will know not to take a big drink of coffee just before getting to the part where you had to hug the wall to keep the trash can from opening up!! SO funny!
    Isn’t it true, though, that when we think we find just the thing that solves our problems, that thing only causes a whole different set of problems?

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.