Stop here if you are squeamish.
I got home late tonight, and was almost out the door again to take Jake for a quick walk when I realized that tonight is garbage night. I toyed with the idea of leaving it until next week, but the thought of another week of stinky fish and cat litter in this heat quashed that idea. So, I went out to the deck, turned open the lid of the racoon-proof garbage can and placed the lid on the railing. As I lifted the bag out of the pail and placed it on the floor of the deck, my elbow knocked the lid and I heard it clatter to the ground in the alley below. Drats, I thought. I’m not climbing down into that pigeon crap infested alley at this hour to get it. It’ll be there in the morning.
Then I turned my attention to the other garbage can. It was closer to the light, and as I lifted the lid I was horrified to find the inside of the lid, the pail, and the garbage bag inside covered with maggots. I swiftly clamped the lid back down again. I froze for a moment, and then turned to look more closely at the bag on the deck. It too, yes the one I lifted with my bare hands, was covered with maggots, all of them dripping off the bag on to the deck and scattering in every direction across the floor with astonishing speed. My first reaction was to wonder whether racoons eat maggots (please God where is a racoon when you need one). My second thought was that without a lid, the racoon would tear the bag open and scatter the maggot-infested contents all over the deck. My third thought was that the bags would have to go out tonight. My fourth and most awful realization was that it would all have to go through the apartment and down three flights of stairs to get to the street.
Realizing that screaming would be singularly unrewarding, I grabbed the hose and sprayed down the bag. Man, those maggots can move. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed, hopefully swamping those disgusting things off the deck and onto the ground below. Or at least the deck below. I don’t like my downstairs neighbour anyway.
Resigned and in despair, I double-bagged the maggot sack. Then I picked up the bag, grabbed the handle of the other garbage can (making sure there were no maggots clinging to the outside of it), and pulled them through the apartment. Through the living room, past the office, past the bedroom, into the front hall, down the stairs…stairs…stairs….all the while praying nothing would break.
So if you see an abandoned racoon-proof garbage pail on Roncesvalles Avenue tomorrow sometime, feel free to take it home. No way is it coming back in through my house.
So what has this to do with gardening? Well, it happened on the deck. You know, balcony container garden area. And it’s kinda about nature. sorta. Blech.