The Clobbersmith's GREAT GARBAGE BAG RACE

“Remember the rules? These are the rules. You bundle up as many full bags of garbage -”

“And they can be full of anything?”

“And they can be full of anything. So do what you think but, light weight is better, because really -

“Really wanna go fast.”

“And the volume -”

“Volume’s gotta be big. So lot’s of bags”

“That’s it. So real light weight is my suggestion”

It’s a race. A classic Clobbersmith invention.

“We’ll race straight down Coney Island Avenue.”

They’ll race straight down Coney Island Avenue.

“And right down the center of the street.”

Right down the center. They’ll take a sharp left at the end of the street near Avenue Z and then they’ll come back up.

“And you wanna skim the cars.”

Skimming the cars is very important in the race, to accrue points. They round up as many garbage bags as they can fit in either hand (as much as either hand can hold). They reach them far out and try to skim the passing cars. The cars, it should be known, don’t know anything about the Clobbersmith’s race. They are just driving on a city street in the County of Kings.

“The hard part is the one-shoe-on one-shoe-off part.”

“The not wearing both shoes part”

“The only wearing one shoes part!”

They’ll run with one shoe on and one shoe off, down the center of the street, carrying as many bags as possible in either hand, the goal being that the bags add to their volume and their volume stretches, in an ideal scenario for a best case race, far and wide in order to skim as many passing vehicles that are unaware as possible.

“It can be for your self.”

“You can race your own best time.”

“Your own self best.”

“And the number of bags is important.”

“It has to be as many as you can carry.”

“We test that before hand.”

“Of course we carry as many as we can carry. We all want to win against our own best selves too.”

They make the turn at Avenue Z and head all the way back up to Avenue C where the race startred.

“And shopping carts are fair game.”

Shopping carts, abandoned on the street, are allowed, by the rules, to be utilized during the race. The carts make it possible to up their bag count, which in turn, if rigged correctly, can also increase the overall volume of the racer - a bag pile mushrooming over the top of the cart pushing out far past the sides and skimming so many more cars at once.

“A top of the car skim from a loose cart is double points.”

The mushroom bag pile on top of cart technique can be a stupendous point earner.

“Who tracks the points?”

“We all track the points.”

“Oh yeah!”

“But what if we aren’t near the other.”

“That’s what the knives are for.”

“Trust!”

“Yup”

“Trust knives!”

Trust knives were brought in to the race after a discrepancy in a point tally after the first contest. Each Clobbersmith now carries a trust knife in order to pair off with another Clobbersmith should a point discrepancy arise.

“It makes you trust the other ‘Smith because he’s got the knife.”

“It’s a self respect thing.”

“I can trust him, cause I know I have a knife.”

“Me too.”

After they make the turn, after a grueling run, they make their way back to Avenue C, all the way from Z, to where the race began. They run up three stories, all the bags still in hand, to the roof deck of their apartment building and they burst open the roof door.

“And that’s when the bags are launched.”

“That’s my favorite part!”

"That’s when we throw the bags.”

To end the race, and confirm a final tally of the bags, each Smith tosses each bag over the roof, back into the traffic they spent the last several hours skimming, counting off the numbers as they fly them over the side.

“Can’t drop a bag to throw a bag.”

In order to end the race successfully each bag must be individually tossed, one by one, over the roof, without dropping or losing another bag, a task that gets easier as the bag count per hand drops.

“But the first few are hard.”

“First few hurt, ‘cause the plastic’s already been wrapped ‘round all the fingers.”

“The bags hurt after all the skims and the furious pace of the race."

And then at long last when the race is complete they tally the points -

“It’s far too dark already to race today"

"On account of explaining the rules.”

“Well, we have to go over the rules.”

“Yeah, lotta times we don’t race on account of checking the rules.”

They don’t ever talk about what happens after the bags are thrown, about the tallies and the scream matches. They fill a tub to the brim with cold beer, ice, and salt, and for every bag thrown they drink a beer before the tallying begins. But they don't talk about the counting of bags, or the beers in the tub. They just sharpen their trust knives and await the race to come.