My Garbage Man, My Enemy

February 4, 2012


This is Clancy.


Squeaky Monkey, during a brief moment of peace.

Clancy is our beagle.  He’s just about the sweetest, kindest-hearted animal you can imagine.  He doesn’t even bay – the only time he howls is when he hears a fire engine or wild dogs.  The things that matter to Clancy are chewies, chasing his Squeaky Monkey, making sure that no one is getting more attention than him, and lying on soft things.  He can find the softest spot in any location.  If a child is ever abducted and all the FBI know is that the kidnapper has taken the boy to the softest spot in the city, have I got the dog for them.

Now, he barks at the mailman, and he’d love to give the neighbor cat a piece of his mind, but generally he just loves everyone.

Except the garbage truck.

The garbage truck just pisses him off.  He hates that truck so much.  Around the time he goes for a walk in the morning is the time the garbage men are doing the route in our neighborhood and when he hears or sees that truck from a block and a half away it is on.  You hear that engine and the hydraulic lift, and this little growl starts brewing from deep inside his core.  You can practically see the thoughts forming in his little head, like a BB rolling around in a tuna-can, “It’s that giant garbage truck!  Again!  I told him to GET OUT OF HERE.”   Then he gets angrier and angrier, growling barking, lunging, yelling at this 18-ton vehicle, “You better run, truck!  You’re about to detonate 35 pounds of beagle fury, mother-f’er!” (I’m not being delicate.   I just don’t think Clancy would swear, even when he’s this angry).  And then he just tries to get free of that stupid dog-collar so he can unleash hell on them.

I don’t know if I hope the garbage guys can see him or not.

The kicker is that this is Bailey.

Bailey is 150 pounds.  You can’t really tell from the picture, but we couldn’t find a dog-bed big enough for him, so instead we just got an old twin mattress.  Clancy’s head fits in his mouth.  He’s a whole other story.  He’s giant, and he has a bark that is truly terrifying.  And if his bark is the blast of an 18-wheeler, Clancy’s is a VW bus.   When the two of them get going together about someone approaching the house it’s like Bailey’s yelling, “I will bite your arm completely off and not even slow down!  I will kill you so hard your relatives will die!” and Clancy’s saying, “Yeah!  Yeah!  Me too! Ha ha!  Bite bite bite!”

Why yes, this is the softest cushion in the room, as a matter of fact. Why?

Bailey doesn’t really care about the garbage truck, but he’ll usually chime in, to support his buddy. So Clancy looks ridiculous, but it’s compounded by the fact that this giant is next to him.  But I envy Clancy’s confidence.  I love that about all dogs.  It’s just a question of “Is this guy a problem? Fine.  I’m on it.”  Even if the guy is a gigantic truck.  Just totally sure of himself and fearless.

Well, unless it’s a sprinkler.  Those things are really scary.

So, garbage guys, I hope next week you aren’t to frightened to drive through our neighborhood.  I appreciate your courage.  Just know that Clancy’s leashed up and I’ve got him and his white-hot hate contained.  Just barely.  Just barely.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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27 Comments on “My Garbage Man, My Enemy”

  1. Elyse Says:

    Dogs are what keep me from fulfilling my dream of one day owning and operating a garbage truck. If my own dog, like yours, were to hate me, well, what would be the point?


  2. Lenore Diane Says:

    Wilbur hated trash cans – hated trash cans. We had to walk on the opposite side of the street, whenever someone left their trashcan by their drive way. He didn’t bark, he just wouldn’t walk passed the thing. If there was a trash can on either side – oh lord, he was paralyzed.

    I’m surprised the mailman doesn’t bother Clancy more – or at least as much as the garbage truck. I love Bailey’s laid back style. He’s confident in his size and ability.

    Cute pooches!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Bailey’s totally laid back… right up to the instant he’s not. He’s very protective of us so he doesn’t like people coming to the house at all. He’s always been wary of strangers coming here, but we had a fire a couple years ago, literally a couple days after he’d had a surgery. So then everything was frightening and he was in physical distress, then for the next several months strangers were coming he to rebuild the other half of the house… he’s never really recovered from that, in terms of strangers at the house.

      Garbage trucks, however, he has a pretty realistic perspective.


  3. truthspew Says:

    Now that is a truly funny post. I love dogs but the pity is I cannot have one due to serious allergies.

    That said, every dog I’ve met from the Neopolitan Mastiff to the Chihuahua, all of them are ALL dog. The behaviors and attitudes are the same.

    But then you realize, they’ve been bred for human mimicry traits. A dog can barely function now without human assistance.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      There’s an interesting book, The World Without Us, that charts a timeline of humans’ impact on Earth if we all just vanished suddenly. Dogs, it says, would be goners – they’re too far domesticated.

      Cats, it should surprise no one – especially the cats – would be just fine.


  4. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    “I will kill you so hard your relatives will die.” Is that an old line that completely bypassed me or did you just make that up? Am I laughing because it’s too early and I am still half asleep or are you a wizard with words?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      You know, I really think I made that line up. I could be wrong, and when I typed it I thought that surely it was a phrase that already existed (because, to be honest, I was kind pleased with myself). I can’t recall hearing it before, though, so I shall claim it. Copyright 2012.


  5. changeonethingtoday Says:

    I LOVE this post and plan to read it to my five dogs when I get home today.

    I’d like to convince on my recently adopted six pound poodle that it would be more productive to channel her rage towards a garbage truck as opposed to paper. Or wind. Or the most dangerous of all, paper that is blowing in the wind. In a household where newspapers, magazines and books are everywhere and the ceiling fan is always on, she has her work cut out for her.

    It’s especially endearing to watch her defend the german shephard, pit bull, and two terrier mixes from these breezy dangers!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I love watching the little guys protect the big guys. Especially when it’s against nothing. “You took care of that burglar, so it’s my turn, buddy. I’ll protect us against this lint ball.”

      We also have a cat who kills leaves, then comes trotting in the house with them in his mouth, head up proudly, showing off his fresh kill. The other cats handle the mice – he’s got that leaf menace handled.


  6. She's a Maineiac Says:

    I think this post was perfect in every way. You’ve got ridiculously cute dogs, stories of brave truck-chasing, and lines like, “Well, unless it’s a sprinkler. Those things are really scary.” I loved every bit. And I want a dog again.


  7. charlywalker Says:

    Thank you for posting the beagle…it confirms the genetics of my own rag-a-muffin rescue between a chi-hua-hua & spaniel and the third combo we thought might be beagle..

    I donned the breed: Chaniel…now it’s Cheagle Chaniel…..

    Great Post!

    spread the


  8. pithypants Says:

    The personalities aren’t an exact match, but it made me think of this:


  9. Jackie Cangro Says:

    I don’t blame Clancy one bit. Those trucks are scary.
    But I think Reggie has it backward. He’s not afraid of garbage trucks, leaf blowers, motorcycles, salt trucks, bikes, scooters or kids on skateboards. But start the vacuum cleaner? He runs from the room.

    Your dogs are really cute!


  10. becomingcliche Says:

    They always win. No matter how wimpy the bark, the garbage man always leaves. Good dog.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’d really like for the postman to just camp out on the doorstep for a couple days – break them of the thinking that they’re making him run away. He’s been surprisingly stuck-up about it, though.


  11. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Some day the ability to find the softest spot in the room will be handy, yknow, when they start getting desperate for new reality TV shows or something ….


  12. booksnob Says:

    I think this might be my favourite post of yours.

    It also reminded me of one of my favourite short stories. Don’t know if you read Philip K Dick (and if you don’t, what the hell is your problem?! He’s my favourite author), but this reminds me of Roog, which is about a dog’s problems with the garbage men. It’s in The Short Happy Life of the Brown Oxford which has other amazing short stories as well. If you haven’t already read it, you really should.



  13. gojulesgo Says:

    I’m having an attack of the warm fuzzies. If your next post is as cute as this, I’m going to need to lie down.


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