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|The Garbage Man's Little Girl
This vignette is written because it can't help itself and carries with it a hope that someone who reads it may know a little girl whose father is a garbage man. Suppose that you can't think of anyone just now who is a daughter to a garbage man, it is best to read this just the same for you never know when you may meet her.
When you do, tell her not to care too much when the children at school tease her about her father and cry - "Phew - phew, here comes the gar-bidge-Garrr-bidge-Garrr-bidge." Tell her at that time to try and sustain her personal integrity with philosophy. It won't do her a particle of good but tell her just the same.
Tell her that her father is a terribly useful man. That if he should fail to function, then the disposal of garbage would become an individual problem and that the mamas of kids whose fathers are not garbage men would be obliged to say to their husbands - "Ed, dear, don't forget to take the garbage bucket to the public incinerator on your way to the office."
Tell her that just because her father collects dirt, it is no disgrace. Tell her to look at the people in good standing who peddle dirt. Tell her to look at the papers. Tell her to tell the world that it's better any day to collect than to peddle dirt.
Tell her that when her father, up on his great smelly throne, drives around the corner of Powell and Geary that dressed-up folk needn't disdain him so much. He's a sermon. They won't like him as a sermon so much as a garbage man but he's a sermon just the same. The text is that back of most things that are dainty and beautiful is the drudgery worker. Tell her that there isn't an immaculate kitchen in San Francisco that doesn't depend upon her father.
Nor a feast at the Palace or the St. Francis. Tomato skins and the nests that cauliflowers come in, and gnawed "T" bones. What would become of them if she had no father. And coffee grounds and the nameless things that have been forgotten and burned by the absent-minded. Tell the little girl about Omar Khayyam and how he might have said - .
Oh, many a charred secret into the garbage can goes That from the kitchen range in blackened cloud once rose. Tell her that there is a professor at Yale whose father was a junk man. All this and more tell the garbage man's little girl.