Garbage Trucks and Milkshakes

When I got home from bringing my wife to work this morning, I was stuck in my alley waiting for a garbage truck to finish collecting the trash. Garbage trucks fascinate me. Massive machines that run around town picking up trash, emptying bins and squashing it down so it can fit more. What’s not to love? The hydraulics slowly devouring candy wrappers and rotten food. It reminds me of a garbage monster.

Anyway. I’m not telling you about garbage trucks today, I’m telling you about what happened while I waited.

As I sat mesmerized by the beast in front of me, I noticed a chubby little African boy skipping down my alley with a medium sized shake from McDonald’s. He looked like he was on top of the world. He was wearing a t-shirt that barely wrapped around his 8 or 9-year-old belly and was singing.

He went to the other side of the garbage truck to enter his apartment building. That’s when I saw his feet slip out from under him, shake flying through the air and his little hands smack the dirty ground.

I had to wait a few more minutes before the truck cleared out and when it did, it ran over what little remained in the McDonald’s cup.

I pulled up to where the little boy was standing, looking shell-shocked at his treat with crocodile tears running down his puffy cheeks.

“Hey buddy, are you ok?” I asked as I handed him a napkin. He couldn’t answer because he was pretty shook up.

“Do you need anything? Are you bleeding? Can you get inside?”

“No, I can’t get in the house,” he responded with a shaky voice.

“I think your sister is waiting for you at the door,” I said. And she was. She was at least two years younger than him, but her hand-on-hip stance told me she had been waiting long enough for that shake to come home. He turned around and went running into the building without looking back

I don’t know if the little guy got another shake or not. If he didn’t have a way inside, you can bet that I would have walked back to McDonald’s with him to buy him another.

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