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“Honey! It’s garbage day tomorrow, you have to prepare the trash! If you’re looking for your glasses I last saw them on top of your head! I’m heading out.”
She knows I need my glasses to prepare, not take out, but to arrange and properly place unwanted articles and food waste in their respective bags and boxes. I need my glasses to find that dad-blang triangle on the plastic containers. Lord forbid if I get the wrong numbered triangle in the recycle box. If they could make the numbers bigger or colour them it would certainly make my life easier. I have to twist and turn them trying to get the light right, running my finger across the ridges trying to caress out a single digit number. I look like I’m trying to strum some instrument made of recycled garbage. The wife’s jealous of her plastic salad box, complaining it gets more loving attention on the way to the Blue Box than she does all week.
Now the plastic’s taking care of, it’s time to wash the bottles and try to remove labels from the glass. I say try, because usually that’s all it is, is an attempt. If they (the garbage police) want labels off, why do they (again the garbage police) let companies crazy glue them on. They are at one with the glass! Hot water, soap and razor blades are needed to try and hide the fact that it was once a pickle bottle. It seems anonymity is very important to the people down at Bills Brought Back Broken Bottle Bin. Where their motto is ‘Be an un-labeler enabler!’ I think Bill drinks what’s left at the bottom of the bottles.
Onward to the papers! For this I refer to my ‘Recycle With Confidence’ section of my recycling bible (provided by our fair city) which I now find out got mixed up with the recyclables last week! And thrown out! So now with anything but confidence, I attempt the next to impossible. The house receives and brings in a lot of paper. And for this we have two different bags with which to recycle our papyrus. So do I use the blue bag or the yellow bag for a non-glossy insert flyer with removed plastic window made from cardboard with a newsprint insert. I hum and haw over this one for some time, and then with little confidence place it in the yellow bag. I then get off the floor and phone Tom next door to see which bag he used. No answer.
Newspaper after newspaper checked for hidden paper infractions. Cardboard boxes flattened, and staples removed. Egg cartons squished. Plastic windows removed. Tearaway all traces of my name and address on any envelopes. Become like the pickle bottle. Find interesting article in ‘Time’ magazine and waste ten minutes determining if your spouse is cheating on you.
Now, not only am I not sure I’ve got the right paper in the right bag, I now lack confidence the wife is staying true to our wedding vows! I’ll try Tom again.
Still bothered by the flyer made of cardboard with the newsprint insert, I complete all paper products and move on to food scraps. Confidence builds. Either cooked or non-prepared foods all go in the kitchen container and then the green cart. What my wife can do with a $30 dollar roast is criminal. I just throw it out before it becomes a crime scene. For Christmas one year I got her a serving platter with the white chalk outline of a roast. Like the police do with a dead body. In response, she used my suit pants that day as a pot holder to remove the turkey from the oven. Asked why, my now ruined expensive suit pants became a pot holder, she replied ‘Thats what you use them for!’
I search fridge and freezer for all past and future offending food scraps. Careful to leave the frozen fruitcake from Aunt Tilley that’s been there for three years, then away for two, only to be re-gifted back to us for an additional four years more.
Now waving and clapping my hands I make my way to the kitchen container. I look like a blessed, praising churchgoer as I enter a small cloud of fruit flies. I affix both hands to its smooth exterior, careful not to slop any residue on my skin. It’ll stain, burn and stink on contact, immediately, and for an extended period of time. Eye protection is a must! Now down a flight of stairs, opening two closed doors I reach the green cart outside. I clear a ten ft radius to pour the offending odor into the green cart. I open the lid of the kitchen container and my fruit fly herd triples in size as they try to escape my wifes meat loaf. I carefully pour out this offending odor, turning nose and eyes away, noticing all the lights at Toms house are off. Now it’s off to the end of the driveway for tomorrows pick up.
I see Toms Blue Box is at the curb already. I go through his yellow and blue bag to see which one he used for the flyer ( I’m sure we both got one in the mail) made of cardboard and newsprint. No luck! It’s not there. I try his phone again.
Several more trips to the end of the driveway conclude garbage eve. All garbage has been prepared and expelled less than one week from entering my abode.
The digital alarm clock shows the score all tied up at a dozen apiece as I lay in bed looking at the ceiling. I lay there wondering where my wife is and thinking back to my youth.
“Honey! It’s garbage day tomorrow have you taken out the trash!?” My Mom would ask my Dad.
“I’ll do it during the commercial!” was his reply. Two minutes done! Which is why I guess we are where we are today.
And then I think............., and then toss and roll and notice all the 2s on the clock. The wife’s not home yet. I get up, put on my housecoat, outside to the Blue Box and retrieve my worrisome flyer. Back to the house, crumple it up and flush it down the toilet. Problem solved! Tomorrow I’ll wipe up the water from the toilet over flowing and unclog the throne from its offending flyer.
I lay there, now at peace wondering why I never thought to separate the papers from the flyer. Silly me. S l e e p y...I hear a car...next door....Toms car....my wife tip toes into the room. I sit up and turn on the light, “Honey it’s 2:30 in the morning! Do you know which bag Tom used for that stupid flyer!?”