Techno Trash

Now debuting in our home: a sleek, sassy, stainless steel Infrared Trash Can. With a brain. This thrilling new domestic device makes tossing rubbish an adventure, and creates advanced living conditions right here in my kitchen. Combining NASA technology and Star Wars design, I almost expect it to whistle a little R2D2 song of some sort.

We're not talking just any trash can, people. This savvy waste container senses when it's approached, and politely lifts its lid for you, allowing you to toss your refuse with extraordinary ease. The lid graciously whooshes to a close when you walk away. And to think--I'd been mundanely tossing my garbage the same way for years, exactly like cavemen tossed their pterodactyl leftovers back since the dawn of time.

Warning: The first few days with this scientifically advanced waste receptacle require adjustment. It's more than a little weird for a trash can to respond to your presence. You just might suspect that you're participating in a bizarre psychological experiment of some sort. But as far as I can tell, there are absolutely no hidden side effects.

Anticipate quirky behavior all around for at least two weeks after bringing this smart container into your home. Expect your pets to be very afraid. Expect young children to wear out the first set of batteries in no time at all. They can and will throw away everything within their reach...including your brand new Universal TV remote control. (Hide your valuables!)

On another disturbing note, when we least expect it, the trash can springs open. Rushing past to answer the phone, it does not remain tranquil like its plastic cousin. Its black lid pops open, demanding litter I do not possess.

"No, no," I tell the silly thing, "I'm just answering the phone." It continues to beg for some small morsel. I ignore it, again and again.

Our family is going through an adjustment period as we all become accustomed to its quirky pop ups. Strolling towards the sink, walking around the corner, or reaching to switch on the light all bring our feisty little stainless steel wonder to life; it pleads for trash we cannot give.

“Mom, the trash can won’t leave me alone!” my daughter whines as she wanders past.

I roll my eyes, wondering what on earth we’ve gotten ourselves into. “Just flip the switch off in the back, honey, and it will completely ignore you.” I suggest.

“Isn’t that like murder?” she asks.

We are learning to navigate wide swaths around the trash can who just doesn't understand the meaning of personal space.

On the up side, your guests will be astonished--and entertained. Very entertained. When a lull in the conversation occurs at your next party, simply hand someone a paper napkin and ask them to throw it away. Then watch the real festivities begin, as your trash can takes center stage. I can't help but wonder if this is the sort of waste receptacle that graces the homes of certain people like Bill Gates or perhaps the Queen of England. If so, then I'm in very good company. If not, then once again, I'm on the cutting edge.


B His Girl said...

Fancy huh! Would my kids be more motivated to pick up their trash or would my kitchen turn into a basketball court? I think I know the answer to that. I better stick to the dinosaur model I have. B

Billy Coffey said...

"Isn't that like murder?"


I SO want one of these, but I'll probably have to wait a few years. My son would try to lasso the lid whenever it opened, and I can just imagine the nightmares it would give my daughter.

Imagine the time I'd save by not having to open it myself. I'm so stuck in 2008.

Kelly said...

We went into a public bathroom the other day, and my 5 yr old kept waving her hand over the paper towel thing. nothing happened. I explained that she just had to manually pull a paper towel out.

Technology is ruining us. :-)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Hi Julie,
I found you from your comment on Nathan's blog about writers. Only a writer could write a post about trash cans. :D I'm glad to have found you and loved every single word of your about me description! Can't wait to continue reading your blog!

By the way, reading the remainder of the comments on his post tempts me to blog about the whole writing as an identity thing (thanks to God, I know what my identity is).
~ Wendy

Melinda said...

Does it tie the bag and haul it to the curb, too? Now that would be my kind of high-tech trash can! :)


Jody Hedlund said...

I've never heard of such a trash can! It does sound right out of Star Wars! You have a wonderful way of telling this story, Julie! It totally made me laught. This my first visit to your blog (I hopped over from Terri's.) I'm so glad I did!

Julie Gillies said...

Melinda: Too funny. In our wildest dreams, right?

Angela said...

Aaahhhhh The Small and SImple things of life! I love it!

Shawna said...

How funny! Especially if you don't warn guests ahead of time. :0)

Melanie said...

You made me laugh! Thanks.

Sandy said...

You are really a good writer! How's that for a comment? I got a good laugh this am.

Happy Mo Day weekend, Julie!

Tana said...

LOL. I've thought of this very one several times when i've seen it at costco. I like an open lid since mine is in the pantry.

Rachel Beran said...

Wow, that sounds a little too fancy for us country folk up here in rural Iowa! :) hee hee

Great writing, Julie. Thanks for sharing and making me laugh.

Terri Tiffany said...

It sounds fun!! I have never heard of one of those before:)) Enjoy!

Sue J. said...

Puts trash talking into a whole new perspective! I already talk back to too many appliances. (And my LG dishwasher actually does sing a song when it's finished working.)

I'm with Melinda!

And does it kick recyclables back out if they inadvertently get tossed in?


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