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I forgot to leave the recycling out last Friday. People around here often—and by people, I mean my neighbor and I—slip into a mental fog of it’s 6 am and I don’t want to drag my company of small plastic bins out to the road and set them up like Stonehenge around my trash can. Usually I’m to blame.  This time, however, in the words of Humphrey Bogart, “I was misinformed.”

The previous evening, I had wheeled my trash bin to the curb just as my neighbor was, and we had the same look on our face: “Is it tomorrow? Naw…. but is it?” We put these thoughts to words and decided it couldn’t possibly be tomorrow.

We’d been fooled before. We left our bins out on the wrong day, and it happened on the most blustery one in recent memory, so together we had to chase around empty milk jugs clear down the block. We could have avoided this with the Internet, but there was some satisfaction in talking to my neighbor instead of Googling it. That’s how it’s supposed to work, right?—neighborly mimesis. Just as when one person claps in an audience and everybody starts doing it, one person has the sense to check the date and put theirs out for the rest of us. But I think everyone on our block was confused, because no one had theirs out yet. Such was our concern.

But we were wrong.

So today, I’ve got recyclables scattered pell-mell across my garage until I decide to make the trip there myself or (more likely) wait it out.

Within the next month, though, the City’s recyclers are going to drop off an apt-sized 96-gallon bin at the foot of my driveway. It is supposedly going to have wheels.

Now, it would have been a nice gesture if they had delivered these bins at the same time they dialed back their pickup-frequency to just once a month. Even when I don’t forget, I’m still trying to find novel ways to store my recyclables.

My old 14-gallon bin, way back when they came once a week, used to be sufficient. I still had to crunch things to make room, but it seemed less of a chore. There was also a lot less stuff they would take and each container had to be stripped before they would accept it.

It has been a bit of a travesty that our recycling bins are seven times smaller than our trash bins. With all the alt-energy investment here, this upgrade is not only the right thing to do, it’s the shrewd thing to do. It may be a long-due and obvious idea, but still a good one. Not that I feel entitled. I could make the effort to drive it across town and drop it off, myself. Still, it’s nice when recycling gets easier, for who wants to feel guilty because they don’t zip the paper off aluminum cans?

Anyway, this Memorial Day, for a change of pace, take some time to remember those who are paid to keep Creation, instead of those who were (and are) paid to trample it.


Only Medal

I was eleven the first and only time I held an Olympic medal. It happened at the small church I attended on Wednesday nights. I forget her name, but she had a gold medal for swimming, I think. Earlier at a Big Boy’s restaurant, her little nephew had splattered hot fudge sundae all over the neck band. She’d tried to get it out, but I remember seeing the sticky  little stains, picking up dirt and germs from people who will always remember the weight of it in their hands, the fingerprints on it.

Slip like Freudian

Silver medal slalom skier, Julia Mancuso, tried to downplay her previous comments in the drama between her and Lindsey Vonn. In an interview today, she tried to assess blame on the media for blowing this drama up, and asserted that her “comments had been taken out of contest—context.”