Or, as they say, not, in France, Gharrbahggge. They don’t call it that, but they do put it into a poubelle, which sounds so much more beautiful than a garbage can, or trash can, or even circular file.
While I was working my way through Sleep School, aka, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for my insomnia, I whiled away many evenings reading mysteries, watching movies, TV mystery series, doing Sudoku puzzles, playing scrabble, indulging in long phone calls with people on the west coast, all in a seemingly never-ending struggle to stay awake until my appointed bedtime. Bedtime was at midnight but has moved slowly and incrementally up to a more reasonable 11PM. Now I’m aiming at 10:45. Not bad. I’ll still have time to read.
In the mysteries I entertained myself with, past and present, written or filmed, it dawned on me that the detective (professional, or the more entertaining amateur) might have to search through dumpsters, landfills, dumps, and sweet sounding poubelles to find clues. On the way to finding clues, there was a lot of yuck. Sometimes the yuck was a clue. Yuck.
Amateurs braved the garbage themselves unless they were independently wealthy and had an assistant to do it for them. They probably won’t have that assistant for long. Professionals had a string of underlings who aspired to reach the top rung in the ladder of detection and therefore dared not give up. They were given Hazmat suits. Lucky them.
I considered my own personal poubelle at the side of my desk this morning and wondered what clues it would yield to the inquiring mind. At the moment I’d wondered I had just tossed in a chocolate wrapper. It was exceedingly good chocolate, and I would recommend it to anyone who asks. In the same receptacle is a potato chip bag. Also a good quality chip.
What would those items tell a snoop?
However, the bulk of the trash is folded, smashed, wrinkled and torn up paper; my attempts at writing. They are the critiqued pages of my stories, handed back to me in good faith by my faithful companions. The notations had been gone over, the comments were read and may be applied.
There is nothing physically yucky in there, no need to suit up. I try to keep it all burnable.
But what would it tell someone who thought I had committed some heinous crime?
The crime indeed would not lie in my choice of snack. My taste in chocolate is impeccable. Quality over quantity every time.
But what about the paper? Quantity over quality?
Ah, there might lie the crime.