August 8, 2014 by T. Gregory Argall
Like most cities in North America, we have a municipally-run recycling program in our town. Put the blue box at the curb on garbage-collection and a recycling truck will come and empty it. A minor, but essential, part part of the whole process is that you then retrieve your blue box from the curb at the end of the day, usually when you get home from work.
This has been an exciting year for extreme weather and a couple of months ago severe winds were everywhere, including the street in front of my house… where our blue box was patiently waiting for someone to get home from work and bring it in from the curb. Sadly, before any of us were home, the blue box was taken by the wind and flung to parts unknown, possibly the Land of Oz.
After a suitable period of mourning, we got a new blue box and life carried on, as it always does. The new box was sturdier than the old one. Larger, too. It had a greater capacity for unwanted newspapers and empty cereal boxes and all the other reusable detritus of modern life. Eventually, to our shame, there were days went we forgot the old blue box entirely, heaping our recycling love and affection on the new blue box.
Our new status quo continued unabated until yesterday morning when, as she was leaving for work, my wife opened the front door to find our old blue box sitting on the doorstep. Of course, we eagerly welcomed to blue box back into our home, but we are now tensely waiting to see how the scenario plays out. Two blue boxes battling for ultimate supremacy on the bloody fields of household recycling.
We could sell tickets. Maybe have a whole pay-per-view event.
What I’m mostly curious about is where the blue box has been for the last two months. I’m expecting any day now to receive emails with photos of our blue box in various exotic locales around the world, like a recycled variation of the traveling gnome prank. Or perhaps our blue box was instrumental in helping a dedicated spy rescue the kidnapped children of a foreign diplomat and preventing an assassination that could have worldwide political ramifications. Maybe the blue box was abducted by aliens from a distant planet who have finally given up in their efforts to communicate with it and returned to where they found it. Most likely, though, our old blue box just spent the last two months in some dude’s garage until Tuesday evening when the guy finally noticed the “112” written on the side of the box and realized it wasn’t his.
But I really hope it was the spy thing.
Try to be nice to each other.