The ramifications of the decision were felt for years afterwards

We caught him wrenching on his ride

As previously noted in this newsletter, one of my household chores is to take out the garbage and recycling when our local municipal schedule dictates. I gladly do this chore, but I don’t let this chore dominate my choice of footwear. If I’m walking around barefoot when it’s time to take out the recycling, I just stay barefoot when I take it out. This includes the winter time, rainy days, cold days, windy days, whatever.

I’ve been thinking about some unintended side effects of this policy recently, and one nice thing for the recycling pickup guys (and snow plows) is that if I look outside and see like a foot of snow between my garage and the spot on the street near the curb that the recycling bins need to go, I’ll just decide not to even bother to bring it out to the street. This works well for a few reasons.

For one, even though I’m an utterly gritty person full of fortitude and pluck and gumption, it is a nice benefit to keep my littles piggies dry and warm and not have to trudge through the snow. I’ll admit that.

Beyond that though, the sort of day that has sufficient snow for me to decide to not bother to bring out my bins is also the sort of day that they might have cancelled recycling pickup on account of wanting to let the snow plows do their jobs and keep the recycling truck off the roads — but it’s also the sort of day where even if they haven’t formally cancelled things and they are doing pickup, I bet the folks on the trucks are not enjoying themselves, and having one or two fewer bins than usual to pickup is like my small gift to them which makes their slightly more tolerable in some marginal way.

Another side effect is that since I haven’t brought things out, we’re going to start piling up a backlog of recyclable materials in and near the bins. This is going to make me “flex” my logistical and organizing muscles to keep this area tidy and prepared for the pickup that will happen the next week.

On a side note, I once had like ~10 lawn bags full of leaves and grasses sitting out there at night to be picked up the next morning, and around like 2AM a group of youngsters — probably on their way home from a local watering hole — walked past our house and just utterly breached my bags by punching and kicking and throwing them. I woke up from being asleep and heard the noise and went over to my window and saw them doing the whole thing. In that moment I really wanted to own some sort of water cannon or massive NERF arsenal or collection of laser/paintball equipment or something which I had previously calibrated to work with a motion sensor and unleash hell onto this group of people, but alas I had not made those preparations. The next morning I went out there and re-filled an entire collection of new bags with the collection of leaves and torn old bags they’d left behind, and I shook my fist at the sky.

Anyway, there are times when I’m walking out barefoot with my recycling bins and I’m thinking about how my neighbors must all be staring at me thinking man that guy is so hardcore how does he even do that? He’s so dreamy. But I concede that there are only like five possible houses that could even see me doing this and they all know me and they’re probably just like ok yeah whatever, Matt’s taking out the recycling. They are just normal hard working Americans who pay their taxes and change their own oil and the last thing they have time for is to contemplate my recycling routine. But clearly I do have time to do that, and that’s one of the big differences between me and all of them.

A wall made out of other tinier walls

In Christian myth there was a garden of Eden which was a nice place and God was like hey don’t eat those apples and then Eve ate the apples anyway and was then punished for it, and we have a modern day metaphor of “forbidden fruit” which references that event. You might use it around someone who wants to do a thing but where doing the thing will have some bad effects afterwards.

I was thinking about how this would have unfolded if instead of not being able to eat some apples from the tree there had been like a head of lettuce or some other vegetable that she wasn’t allowed to eat. “Forbidden fruit” wouldn’t make sense any more because lettuce is not a fruit, it’s a leaf. Something like “Verboten Vegetables” might have taken hold because it has that same alliteration as forbidden fruit which is nice; but also it’s just slightly too many syllables to have the same impact. If it had been another vegetable maybe we’d have like “Banned Beets” or “Prohibited Parsnips” or “Taboo Turnips” or something.

Are people writing Bible fan fiction? That’s gotta be a thing. I’d love to see someone take this apple/veggie variation and do some cool world building to show what things unfold differently if we give Eve a different thing to stay away from.