So this is how it ends? I thought to myself. Of all the ways to go, buried in garbage was not in my top 10.

"So this is how it ends?" I thought to myself.

Of all the ways to go, buried in garbage was not in my top 10.

With a bag of trash in one hand, I balanced six boxes of various shapes and colors in the other like a skilled waiter with an overloaded tray of drinks. I navigated out of the kitchen and over the cat cleaning herself in front of the door. When I made it into to the garage, I sucked in my stomach to get past the Kia's side mirror before crushing a stray piece of chalk with my foot.

Using my elbow, I lifted the garbage can lid and dumped the bag. Then I opened the recycling bin, which is a bit smaller and a shade lighter than the very large and dark green trash can. It was full. The holidays were good to us.

After Christmas, it takes a few weeks to clear out our hoard. I imagine this is a very busy time for the waste-management industry. On trash day, our street looks like we just cleaned up from a hurricane.

I balanced the stack and pushed down on the content of the bin. Surely, there was room for a few more. But it did not budge.

"A challenge, eh?" I said.

The correct way would have been to break down the boxes and organize everything in the bin. Or maybe I can just stand on it and push it down, I thought.

I never have measured how high I can get my foot. But I now know it's the exact height of the recycling bin.

There is a fine line between "I've got this" and "Send for help," and I balanced on it. I could not get the leverage to push down the pile, nor could I get my foot out of the can.

And the stack of boxes started swaying. I could not get my foot out without letting go of the boxes or the lid to the can. OK, I thought, I'll just toss these boxes in the air, remove my foot from the can and catch the boxes, no problem.

"What are you doing?" I said out loud, deciding to try something else.

I balanced the stack of boxes on the car, and used my free hand to pull my foot out. But my other foot slipped out from under me, and I crashed into the garage door and onto the floor.

And the stack of boxes fell on my head.

The cat scratched on the other side of the door. I half pleaded to her to go get help, but when there was no response, I assumed she went back to licking her belly.

I got up and dusted myself off, then I climbed on the car and jumped on top of the pile in the bin until there was enough room to put in the other boxes.

When I went inside, my 3-year-old greeted me. "What was that noise?" she said.

"Oh, nothing," I replied, "just taking out the garbage."

As we walked in the kitchen, my wife appeared with two more boxes and asked if there was still room.

"Oh, sure," I said. "There's plenty of room."

Reach Dave at 330-580-8490 or david.manley@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @DaveManley