Joe looked at his companion in disbelief. "There's an answer in here?" he asked. Before him was a large cardboard wooden box full of things. "In here?"

"Yes, yes of course, they're all there, everything you need to know." Elroy, Joe's companion wore a purple wool coat, buttoned all the way up, and a baseball cap turned around backwards. He was sweating profusely. "Where were we? Oh yes, well, when I was ten my mother was sent off to reform school, and I stayed home taking care of myself, mostly, which gave me lots of time for daydreaming. Oh the ideas I concocted in those days! Sometimes I amaze even myself!"

"Sounds easy enough," Joe muttered under his breath. He rolled up his leaves, still looking funny at the box of things and things, and dove right in. A chicken leg, uncooked. Dried morsels of something or other, best not to know. A shark? Surely not, but then, what else gives off that certain peculiarly odor? A shark it must be then. Teeth. Lots of them, all kinds.

"I used to pretend I was a monkey. Of course, that was easy." He paused a moment. "Our house had lots of trees," Elroy explained.

Joe picked up a squirrel. "There must have been lots of these around, eh?"

"No, not actually. Squirrels quickly learned to stay away." One rubber ball, yellow. Matches, used.

"Oh, well, those aren't really answers. I just, um, ran out of trash bags."

"So this seaweed isn't trying to tell me something?"

"No, you can just throw that away here, and that pencil, also, is kind of meaningless, and-"

"But I need a pencil! Can I have it?"

"Well, sure, if you really want it, but don't expect it to be terribly useful, it's solid wood, no lead anywhere. It's just had the tip painted black.

"Anyway. We had neighbors once. They didn't like me much. Thought I should have been in school or something. I tried to explain that my mother was in school, and we couldn't very well both go at once, now could we? Anyway, they didn't stay long before they found amazing opportunities for the leaving." Elroy took off his cap to scratch his head and examined something on the tip of his finger before recapping his head and moving on. "I used to eat insects."

"That's not surprising," said Joe, knee-deep in rubber bands and bits of saltine cracker. "Didn't everyone?"

Elroy looked at the collection of items Joe had excavated from the pile, and turned up his nose a bit. "Rather a motley grouping, aren't they? Let's see what else there is in here. Hmm." He dug quickly through the box, throwing pieces of garbage left and right. When he grabbed a long fluorescent yellow snake, he paused a moment and inspected its tail, seemed dissatisfied, and put it down as well, where it promptly slithered off into the bushes.

"Well, I can't believe it's not here. What else?" He sorted through the box in this manner for some time, until all that was left in it were unidentifiable bits of this and that that had been smushed together in the bottom. Joe was occupying himself with a ball of foil he had found.

"I think," said Elroy, "that this is a trash can."

Gar"bage (?; 48), n. [OE. also garbash, perh. orig., that which is purged or cleansed away; cf. OF. garber to make fine, neat, OHG. garawan to make ready, prepare, akin to E. garb dress; or perh. for garbleage, fr. garble; or cf. OF. garbage tax on sheaves, E. garb sheaf.]

Offal, as the bowels of an animal or fish; refuse animal or vegetable matter from a kitchen; hence, anything worthless, disgusting, or loathsome.



© Webster 1913.

Gar"bage, v. t.

To strip of the bowels; to clean.

"Pilchards . . . are garbaged."



© Webster 1913.

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