Thursday, May 31, 2007


This morning, I went out of my way to remind myself to roll the Great Big Trash-Bin to the curb.

Our garbage is picked up twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. By coincidence, the same days we read Torah during the week...
“Thou shalt take thy garbage out from thy dwelling-place when the midden-heap becometh full, and deposit it in the Great Big Rolly Thing By The Driveway. Do this, lest thy habitation become stinky: I am the Lawd.

“On the second day and on the fifth day, thou shalt roll the Great Big Rolly Thing to the boundary of thy driveway, even unto the edge of thy driveway, that the Garbage Men may come to remove it from thy dwelling-place.

“And on the first of the month, thou shalt send thy Check-Offering unto the Garbage-Men, that they may continue to do their service, and the Crap in thy Dwelling-Place shall not become as numerous as the stars in the sky. It shall be a commandment unto you from generation to generation.”
I had, sadly, neglected my Garbage-Bin Rolling Duty last Thursday...and what with Monday being a holiday, and our planning to be away next week on vacation, it would have been a disaster to miss today’s pick-up. Things were getting pretty fragrant in there, the deadly combination of used cat litter, chicken guts, and fish-asses working its chemical magic over the span of some ten days. Another ten days might have had traumatic results.

One of the unsung advantages of living in a modern technology-driven society is the relative ease of waste removal. Ease - and invisibility. Our bodily wastes are silently flushed away, never to be seen again. Our household garbage is carted off, to become part of a far-away landfill. We don’t pay much attention to these processes unless and until there is a breakdown in the orderly operation of the system.

Imagine the sheer volume (and nastiness) of the crap generated by an average household in a single day. Dishwater. Food waste. Crumpled up tissues, drenched with Nostril-Blowage. The urinary remnants of the six pack of Dos Equis you drank, along with the digestive residuum of the four Double-Krisp Korn ’n’ Beef Tacos you ate at Macho Camacho’s last night. The water from the shower, complete with soap scum, ass hair, and the filth you were rolling in after you got into a fistfight in the parking lot at Macho Camacho’s (thanks to the good offices of that six-pack). Eccch.

If you want to destroy our cushy Western civilization, don’t waste your time hijacking planes and blowing up buildings. Blow up a few hundred garbage trucks instead. Plug a few sewer lines, shut down a few landfills, and our society will grind to a halt. Believe it.

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