My Tall Tale about the Garbage Man Sherman


Normally a garbage man implies a diligent public servant who takes care of our repulsive trash. But for Sherman, the title of “Garbage Man” is synonymous to everything a super hero is supposed to be. The Garbage Man Sherman is strong, heroic, and has a true identity that is completely unknown to mankind.

Before The Garbage Man Sherman began patrolling the streets, the town of Sketchville was covered in gratuitous amounts of garbage from the disgruntled citizens. Sketchville had been a depressed area for years with only occasional garbage pickup from the sanitation workers who were too miserable to do their jobs, and nobody in a position of power had the energy to fire them and deal with the inevitable anger. The residents figured that Sketchville never did any favors for them so why should they worry about keeping the place sanitary. After a while, I guess it is easy to get used to living in one’s own filth. Things remained the same until the Garbage Man Sherman came into everyone’s universe.

Sherman is such a puzzle that there are multiple stories about why he devotes his life to cleaning up the city piece by piece. Increments upon increments. No super hero can fix a city-wide problem overnight but Sherman did it in such impressive increments that he had to have had immense machines or at least super human strength. There was no explanation and those who tried to catch him in the act would always pay a traumatic price. They would return to the masses at dawn babbling gibberish and covered in the filth of the city. Sherman just wanted to be left alone and would rather emotionally scar a busybody than receive the credit. Sherman is a real person…a true Tale Tale…but he might as well have been a figment of someone’s imagination on a scrap of some comic book.

Two popular origin stories have been attributed to Sherman’s actions. One story says that his mother was a lifetime hoarder, and he lived among garbage for the first eighteen years of his life. When he came of age, Sherman left home and never looked back. When his mother’s house was set to be condemned by the Sketchville Board of Health, Sherman learned his mother had taken the dramatic steps of burning down the house and most of his worldly possessions including photographs. His mother was checked into a mental institution forever, and Sherman held a lifelong grudge toward all garbage.

The second origin story tells the tale of Sherman having had been a multi-millionaire many times over. His rise was steep but forced him to sell his soul by stepping on plenty of weaker people to reach this peak of success. One day, he decided that enough was enough. He sold all of his worldly possessions and gave his fortune away to charity. All Sherman kept for himself was enough money to purchase food and shelter for the rest of his life. He had nothing left except an abundance of time that was spent sleeping in an unknown shack in the middle of the woods and allowed him the energy to perform his work every single night. Harmless, black dust started appearing, which could have been incinerated trash.

Sherman could have an explosive and vindictive temper especially when tested by evil. One bitter man was jealous of his heroism and would dump out his garbage on the streets to make more work for poor Sherman. This went on night after night until Sherman sent his own message in the only nonviolent way he knew how. The man woke up at six a.m. to find that the inside of his house stored all the garbage from the city. Sherman has risen once again!

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