O.K. The title to this post is a bit of false advertising. Below are not my ruminations on the merits of a booze-up (though they are indeed many). There are instead two observations concerning garbage.
First, in the wake of the aforementioned "hippie Christmas" here in Madison, the streets are again clear of the garbage mounds...with a few exceptions. For you see, the city requires an additional payment to dispose of appliances. It seems that you must pay for anything larger than, say, a toaster. Instead of the garbage heaps, therefore, the streets are dotted with microwaves, fridges, air conditioning units, computer equipment and other electronic gee-gaws that have gone to Appliance Heaven. They all bear a bright green sticker as evidence of their un-pick-up-able nature.
It is quite a "catch-22" if you think about it. In fact, in the book Catch-22, the dead man in Yossarian's tent is somewhat of a metaphor for these appliances. In the case of the dead man, there were seemingly good administrative reasons why the man could not be moved; no one knew what they were, but they must have been frightfully good.
With the appliances, the people who threw them out have moved, possibly out of town, so they're out. The landlord won't touch it, much less pay for it, because he/she did not throw it out to begin with. Lastly, the city will not pick up any appliance that has not been paid for. See what I mean? The streets of Madison are dotted with little curbside monuments to governmental and systemic ineffeciency.
Observation number two comes in the form of something I noticed about myself. Through no extra effort on my part, I am actually quite environmentally friendly.
First, and this is the big one, I do not own a car and have not in three years. I go everywhere via public transportation. I'll bet that even Al Gore cannot say that. Second, I recycle/reuse almost everything possible. Madison's recycling program takes almost anything (except appliances, apparently) and being a swinging bachelor (ahem), I create very little trash. The bulk of the trash I do create is the recyclable kind (empty beer cans and the cases that they came in, mainly). Thirdly, I wash my clothes in a high-effeciency, double load commerical washer that uses less water and less soap, therefore creating less toxic (especially from my socks) run-off.
So there, Al Gore, your truths (if they indeed be that) are not inconvienent for me at all. Nice try at making me feel guilty, though.
It opened up my eyes I saw the sign
4 weeks ago