Monster of the Week: Trash Monster

The creatively named Trubbish and Garbodor

Hey there. Courtesy of hauling a big ol’ heap of stuff halfway across the country, this week I bring you a short and not-so-sweet post about literal garbage.

Possibly the most fearsome monster that any of us do battle with on a daily basis—but what is a garbage monster, really?

There are a few kinds. There are animated sacks of garbage like those guys up there, two Pokémon called Trubbish and Garbodor (yes, actually). Then there are other kinds of monsters who just hide out in the trash. You know—Oscar the Grouch, or that guy from the Death Star trash swamp.

Sooooo, which one would you rather run into in a dumpster?

Good! “Neither” was the correct answer! You win… a recycling bin. Well, that’s nice and topical.

Okay, so maybe the animated garbage is creepier just because it’s more implausible. Imagine if your garbage had a will of its own! Nobody wants that. Plus, you can’t really check for it. The monster hiding in the garbage can be spotted—the monster that is the garbage… well, is the garbage.

But let’s be honest. It doesn’t matter which kind we’re talking about. Any trash monster is a gross trash monster. Often slimy and always stinky, it repulses us more than it scares us. So what is its purpose?

The obvious answer is that it’s a reminder to clean up our shit.

The less comfortable answer is that it’s, well, familiar. Who hasn’t had that one time when a mess got way out of control? (Oh, fine, more than one? I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but go ahead and be honest.) At our lowest point of sloth, it’s not hard to imagine a mess like that taking over and consuming us. Or maybe you found an actual raccoon hiding in there.

Hey hey hey, I never said this was a personal anecdote.

So remember, kids, pick up after yourself, or it will be hell to sort through when you have to move. Here’s hoping my possessions don’t come to life and swamp me.

Prompt: They say that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Okay, that’s pretty cliché, but it’s not a bad prompt. Hide a piece of “treasure” in a pile of trash, and set the character who values it loose in the room. How do they react to it? What things do they have to sort through first, and why aren’t those valuable to them? Consider it a character-building exercise. Or a loot drop.

It can be both. Merry Christmas, nerds.

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