I live in a community where, every autumn, municipal workers come ’round with a vacuum truck and suck up all the leaves that people were too lazy to properly bag. I (and indeed the community in general) call these workers the “leaf truck people.”
Unfortunately, I also live in a community where the municipal workers are all second cousins, smell of smoke and beer, and still manage schedules on their Commodore 64s.
I had a fascinating phone conversation with one of them about when on earth the leaf truck people would be doing their job. Here’s the bit I remember. I can’t remember the lass’s name, so I’ll just call her Mayella.
Mayella: Who’s this?!
me: I’m a resident of this city. I’m curious as to when the municipal workers will be here to vacuum up the excess leaves that I wasn’t able to get around to bagging.
Mayella: So what do you want?
me: I want you to tell me when the leaf truck people will be ’round to suck up my leaves.
Mayella: Well, it’s not going to be any time soon, because Bob is on a hunting trip with Billy and they’re the only two people with keys to the leaf truck.
me: You mean to tell me that in the entire city, there are only two people with keys to that truck?
Mayella: Well Jim has a set too, but he’s home sick.
me: I see. You wouldn’t by any chance know when “Bob” or the other one will be back from their trip, do you?
Mayella: Nope, I don’t reckon they said anything to me.
me: Ah. Well then, thanks for your help.
The conversation ended thusly. That whole exchange pretty much sums up the way things happen (or indeed, don’t happen) in the small town I live in.