Chitchat Mania

Half Mag / Half Zine

Ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up and chances are you’re in for some high-flying answers like astronaut, helicopter pilot, or maybe even paratrooper.

Ask 3-year-old Wolfgang Reader (“Wolfy” to his friends and family) about his future plans, and you’ll quickly discover this tyke’s aspirations are a lot more down to earth.

His obsession? Garbage trucks and the men who drive and load them. In fact, the precocious preschooler has his own fleet of toy garbage trucks to play with.

Up until recently, due to the pandemic, Wolfy was spending most days at home rather than with his classmates. His favorite day of the week was Friday—trash collection day, of course.

Friday mornings, Wolfy eagerly waited for his beloved garbage trucks to make their run up his street. Under his parents’ supervision, according to CBC, Wolfy became something of a mascot to the trash collectors.

To Wolfy, these men are superheroes. Two of them, D.J. and Drew, became his particular pals, earning him and his trash posse the nickname of the “Wolfpack.”

With family in COVID-19 lockdown, Wolfgang’s parents knew they weren’t going to be able to throw him a big birthday party. Instead, they told him he could invite a couple of friends over for cake.

Wolfy’s ideal guest list was obvious. “Drew and D.J.!” he decreed.

Since her son’s birthday fell on a Wednesday rather than a Friday trash collection day, his mom Julia Wehkamp doubted the Wolfpack would RSVP with a yes. However, with a little help from Wolfie’s grandmother, who’d sent a letter to the City of Toronto detailing the little boy’s devotion to his garbage truck buddies. Unbeknownst to the family, Wolfy’s birthday wishes were about to come true in spectacular style.

On the morning of September 9, four bright green garbage trucks, horns honking, rolled their way up the street to the delight of the ecstatic birthday boy and his stunned family.

“The boys came bearing gifts, howling out their windows and took time to play with Wolfie,” Wehkamp posted to her Facebook page. “He even got to honk the horn! Does it get any better!?”

D.J. was unfortunately out of town, but Drew and several other trash collectors climbed down from their rigs to help Wolfy celebrate. After showering the little boy with trash-related gifts, sharing cake, and playing with toy trucks for close to an hour, Wolfy’s garbage collecting heroes drove off to their other appointed rounds.

Wolfy’s mom, more than a little impressed, summed up her feelings, saying, “These are really kind gentle souls who are full of positive, good energy. These men are ideal role models.”

While it’s clear the friendship means the world to Wolfy, the bond he shares with his Wolfpack holds a special significance to them as well. “It means a lot because, it’s the children you know,” Drew told CBC News.

“They’re the next generation to come, so seeing them enthusiastic about something even as simple as what we do in our everyday lives brings meaning; shows the importance of what everyone does in society. It just makes me feel good.”