Trash talk about overachievers

Driving to work today, I smilingly observed my subdivision’s latest décor upgrade.  Even amid the holiday displays, my gaze was drawn to the symmetry, precision, and pleasing arrangement of–the trash cans.  It’s not just that they all match now; City of Round Rock crews replace those brown containers at consistent proximity to the curb, facing exactly the same angle, with lids identically posed. 

Proceeding through on the way to 620, I had to appreciate the orderly pattern of these outsized bins.  I suspect that my home isn’t the only one harboring evidence of ongoing holiday fuss and not-quite-there-yet readiness for the coming weekend.  But you’d never suspect disarray when viewing our waste receptacles; they’re channeling the Rockettes. 

Round Rock Refuse is clearly operating in top form.   As a fellow City employee (though one who’s contributed nothing whatever to the efficiency of trash pickup), I appreciate their success unreservedly. 

If only I felt the same way about all high achievers.  Some merely inspire jealousy.

Steve Martin, for example, recently published another great fiction title, An Object of Beauty, to critical praise; it’s in Amazon’s Top 100.  Apparently, Martin needed to fill the deep void left by successful careers in comedy, music, and acting.  Perhaps hoping to avoid typecasting as merely a renowned singer, movie actress, and stage performer, Barbra Streisand authored My Passion for Design.  It, too, is in Amazon’s Top 100, along with Amy Sedaris’ wacky sendup of craft/better living guides, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.   

Actor James Franco (Spiderman) is attracting attention with Palo Alto, a short story collection.  Celebrities Nichole Ritchie and Lisa Rinna both have new novels out, as does William Whitbeck.  When he’s not authoring titles like To Account for Murder (which the New York Journal of Books terms “a stunning debut”) Whitbeck has a day job as Chief Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals.   

As one who has yet to achieve either celebrity or authorship, I am relieved to know that the list of multitasking literary show-offs is short, unless you count National Book Award winner Patti Smith, Barack Obama, Tony Hawk, Andre Agassi, Tom Brokaw, Keith Richards, Jon Stewart…

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