3:00 am. I happen to be up, wrestling with personal demons as per usual, and I realize that today is garbage day! That being one of my newly-established household responsibilities, I nimbly prowl the house, collecting the trash: my wastebasket, the kitchen garbage, the bathroom trimmings bucket and the all-purpose common room garbage can.

I lug them out, one by one, through our back yard to the back alley, hoping not to rouse the neighbours' dogs. Next out goes the recycling - the bag of newspapers, the bag of cardboard and other pulpy miscellany... then finally, the coup de grace, the city-issued blue box for metals, plastics, etc.

Back to my nightly dilemma. An hour and a half later, turning to my bookshelf for an answer to a personal quandary, I come across a scrap of plastic trash one of my roommates left, inappropriately, on the bookshelf. Figuring I may as well move as much of this junk out of the house as possible before succumbing to the inexorable blackness of sleep, I slide open the back door and again tiptoe to the alley to toss this new article into the recycling box.

Only problem being, it's not there.

Sometime between 3:00 and 4:30 am, someone had stolen our recycling box, complete with its massive and non-refundable load of soup cans, margarine containers and milk jugs, of which there remains not a trace.

Our trash. Some fucker stole our trash er, - our recyclable materials, I correct myself. But we worked hard to produce that bounty for the city collection crews! They'll think... they'll think we're not being good conspicuous consumers!

I scratch my head, decide I've been up too late since the world is starting to not make sense anymore, pad back into the house, lock up, put the piece of garbage back on the bookshelf and slip into the struggle of unconsciousness.

This story is more amusing than the account of the time our house was broken into with the only thing stolen being our broken answering machine because there wasn't actually a criminal stranger in the house with us at the same time.