Stumped at the dump

Published 12:59 pm Thursday, January 25, 2024

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“If there’s one thing I hate,” I vented coming into the house after a trip to the recycling center, “It’s dump amateurs! I mean, honestly, if you can’t figure out the parking sequence, don’t go! Get somebody else to drive.”

Because Paul is usually the one who runs our paper, aluminum and plastic (which, by the way, only 9% of annual plastic waste is actually recycled) to the dump, he understood my dump rage keenly.

“Somebody took up two spaces?” He asked.

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“Worse!” I barked with an air of triumph. “You know how everyone waits in line in their cars until somebody pulls out and away from the dumpster, then the next driver pulls up to the fence, reverses, and backs into the empty space so you can either toss your stuff into the dumpster or recycle bins?”

Paul nodded.

“Well, this woman, this complete simpleton, this embarrassment to estrogen, pulls her SUV up alongside the chain link fence and just parks RIGHT THERE! So then me and the three trucks behind me can’t take any of the parking spaces that have opened up because, with her car by the fence, there’s no room for any of us to pull forward and then back into them, so we’re all stuck—“

“Yeah, that’s annoying,” Paul said, beginning to be bored with my tale.

But like Jackie Gleason, honing in on Alice and about to erupt, I launched into the best part. 

“Oh, it’s way more than annoying,” I roared. “Because then she gets out, opens the hatchback, and pulls out a couple of pieces of cardboard then totters over on her stupid high heels to recycle that (of which I did a brilliant impression in my muck boots), then back to her car and, instead of carrying the whole bag of stuff, takes out two cans and takes it to the other side of the parking lot to recycle that-“

“OK, yeah.”

Which was a terribly deflating reply to the climax of the story. Without a rapt audience to share my experience, there was no point in continuing about how all of us in line had to wait TEN WHOLE MINUTES, quietly steaming at this woman because nobody in the south will roll down their window and yell, “Hey, Lightning, can you not see you’re holding up this entire line of cars” in fear that she might just be that new bank teller or their pastor’s wife. So we sit and curse silently, before pulling out our phones to play Wordle…

I suppose, after all, it was a lesson in patience. Which I failed miserably.

Amateurs. Selfish, dump amateurs!