The scream came from the bedroom, “Lizard?” I asked casually from the sitting room and found no reply, “Cockroach?” I shouted again, and again hearing no answer rushed to where the wife was, “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Look at this!” she screamed shoving the newspaper into my face, “look what it says!”
“Municipality to Check Garbage!” I read aloud, “So what’s wrong?” I said, “They want to see if we’re segregating our wet and dry garbage!”
“They can’t do that!” screamed the wife again, “I won’t be able to hold my head up in front of a municipal worker afterwards!”
“Because you’re not segregating?” I asked, “You know, we should be a model family and do what the government asks us to do!”
“No! No! No!” screamed the wife, “because of what they’ll think after they see our garbage!”
“I don’t see anything wrong with our kachra.” I said stubbornly.
“That’s because you haven’t seen the neighbor’s!” said the wife defiantly.
“And you have?”
“I wanted to see whether everyone brushes their teeth with Neem sticks like you do, and what kind of broken plates they throw out.”
“And what did you find?”
“That they use toothpaste, and you should see the broken dishes thrown out, they look like they are from the Queen’s cutlery collection!”
“Steel plates don’t break!” sobbed the wife.
“So what’s the problem?”
“When the municipality sees no broken dishes they’ll know we eat in steel plates!”
“What will they ever think of me? And then they’ll see the neem sticks! We have to buy new porcelain plates, and you should start using tooth paste!”
“That’s impossible on a journalist’s income!”
“So what do we do?” screamed the wife, “I have a reputation to keep, I’m ruined, and even if one municipal worker were to tell the ladies in my kitty party, I’m finished! Kaput!”
“I’ve got an idea,” I said with a smile, “that will save your reputation.
The wife came to visit me at the police lock up, “What happened Bob?” she asked.
“They caught me,” I whispered.
“The municipal workers, they found me exchanging the neighbor’s dustbin with ours this morning, now I’ve been booked!”
“What crime?” asked the wife fearfully.
“Garbage hacker..!” I said as she clasped her head in her hands and sobbed…!
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