The breakdown of the family, the end of the drive-in theater, no more roosters inside the city limits, nor more records to plan on the turntable, no more turntables.

And now, the end of the trash collection as we know it. Is nothing sacred? Are any traditions safe from the ravages of change in the name of progress? Can we stop in the name of love? What in the Sam Hill is going on? And who was Sam Hill?

It seems that the City of Dallas Department of (Relatively) Sanitary Engineers were sitting around the dumpster one day at a staff (not the infection) meeting when the Assistant Director in Charge of Moderately Malodorous But Not Unbearably Stinky Garbage started talking trash and suggested that our trash collection procedure could be better, faster, stronger, aesthetically more pleasing and an inspirational experience overall.

The Dallas City Council (recently reelected en masse on the promise that the new sports arena will double as a riverboat casino on the Might Trinity) then took the Sanitary Engineers’ recommendation and pronounced that, henceforth, all the trash must be collected in a way benefitting an erstwhile Olympic City of the New Millennium.

The new system has already been deployed in all other parts of the city. There have been reports of crop devastation in Preston Hollow and insect plagues in Oak Cliff. We still have radio contact with Lakewood, and they report spirits are high but they are in the 100th day of their garbage boycott, and more and more metal garbage cans are disappearing every day.

Is there any hope for Lake Highland – the last best hope for traditional trash? This correspondent can offer none. The invasion of the mini-dumpsters has begun.

The new personal dumpster is approximately the size of the new Volkswagen Beetle and can hold a small family of elk. City staff are currently offering tours inside the new cans, which take about 10-15 minutes. Concessions are available at the gift shop about halfway down.

Having bragged on the new dumpster’s capacity, it is still likely that HDTV (high density trash volume) families will frequently generate more trash than is permitted by the City’s new trash czar – Paul Land. There will be no tolerance for trash exceedances. Violators will be compacted.

And beware the new trash truck with its automated arm that can rip the Sears siding right off your garage. Unlike the garbagemen of yore, if you offer a soft drink to this outstretched arm, it will smash your Coca-Cola and you.

Is this the price of progress? Are we gaining a new millennium only to lose control of our trash? If you find your head spinning from trash trauma, just remember that a landfill is a terrible thing to waste.