A realization hit me the other day as I was loading this week’s groceries into the trunk.
Even without Nickelback’s latest album, I’d just purchased a bunch of garbage.
My list included cat food, people food, soap, toothbrushes, paper towels and garbage bags.
Seriously, none of this stuff is going to be anywhere but the landfill or the sewer in a week.
For example cat food. The cat food will be eaten by my cats, well, 20 percent of it will be. The other 80 percent will be eaten by the feral cats that, in spite of being shot multiple times by bb guns, still seem to think my garage is a cool place to hang out.
They’re not wrong. That’s where I keep my smoker, hang my dartboard and park my car.
Anyway, it really doesn’t matter who eats the food as nature runs its coarse and it all winds up in my flowerbed, where I have to scoop it out and throw it away.
Soap is really no different. You lather up, and wash it down the drain. This process is repeated until the bar becomes a soap sliver that also slips down the drain.
Literally $3.99 in American dollars will go down the drain.
Paper towels are clearly garbage. According to government studies I made up, some 87 percent of all garbage that’s not on satellite radio consists of damp paper towels.
I know environmentalists will say I should use a dishtowel instead, because it can be washed and reused.
However, most environmentalists have probably never been in trouble for using a hand stitched heirloom dishtowel to blot the grease off of two pounds of bacon. It’s not pretty.
I felt so bad about it, I almost didn’t eat the bacon, but then I did. And I felt better. Then I kept eating the bacon and felt worse.
Maybe that’s why people hoard things, because they feel guilt for throwing away most of the stuff they buy and don’t want to be wasteful.
“Well, I guess I should throw this half a book of matches out from 1987,” I say to myself. “After all, they’ve clearly been soaked in a flood, but I might need them one day. What if I take up smoking water damaged cigarettes?”
Hoarding is a mental condition caused by a chronic case of “what if.”
I should throw that empty sour cream carton away, but what if I use it for something else? I won’t, but what if I did? I could toss that broken pen, but what if I decided to fix it? It would save me 32 cents, but I probably won’t do that either.
Perhaps the greatest “what if” at my house is the boxes in my garage that have never been unpacked in two moves.
I call these boxes the “apocalypse toilet paper.”
That’s because they are unopened cases of toilet paper. They are not the brand we use, so they’re basically useless. During peace time, toilet paper preference is right up there with political affiliation, religious preference and favorite Star Wars movie.
However, there might be a day when there’s a revolution at the Charmin factory, or the zombies attack or the sun explodes. Then we won’t be able to buy toilet paper, and that’s when the apocalypse toilet paper will fulfill it’s calling and the great “what if” will pay off. Plus I imagine we’ll be less selective about our toilet paper if there’s no sun.
Meanwhile, until the end of the world actually happens, these cases of toilet paper sit in my garage filling up valuable space and posing a potential fire hazard.
I should just throw them away, but I can’t bring myself to do it. After all, when the end of times comes, at least they’re more useful than Nickleback CDs.
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