Thursday, February 22, 2007

No deposit, no return

Eeek, I'm totally messed up because I fell asleep when I was putting Anna to bed tonight and now it's 10:38 PM and I'm not really all that tired. Honestly, I didn't think I was that tired when I laid down in bed to read her book to her and wait for her to drift off, but alas, I did. And now here I am.

Earlier tonight, I went to take the pop cans back to the store to collect the deposit and pick up a few odds and ends that Heidi had forgotten when she was at the store earlier today. Normally, this would not be a blog worthy task, but bear with me. Taking the pop cans back is one of those jobs that is just not very much fun. For one thing, each pop can nets a grand total of 5 cents each, so a bazillion pop cans gets you something like 2 bucks. You go in with this huge amount of cans and such a paltry sum hardly seems fair. Secondly, the redemption center at the local Hy-Vee is just nasty beyond words. And tonight was no exception. I think that a cesspool has a good chance of having fewer germs per cubic centimeter. Grocers have been trying to get the Iowa legislature to repeal the bottle bill almost since its inception in 1979. And I'm starting to see why. Everything in that place is sticky. Half the time, the machines don't work (like tonight, the one accepting glass was completely full, beeping like a truck backing up the entire time I was in there) and usually it smells like stale beer. It's worse on the day after an Iowa State football game, but generally, you breathe through your mouth the entire time you're in there. However, I will never support repealing the bottle bill as it has been a major factor in keeping trash off the Iowa landscape for the last 30 years.

So I got the cans back (except for the glass - which immediately made me think of that line in 9 to 5 where they've got Hart tied up and they're removing all the stuff he could use to get out and Dolly says "And all the glass - just in case!") I went in to the store to get the few items on my list - a gallon of milk, eggs, pop for Jeff, gummy worms from Sunday's Oscar party's dirt dessert, a green pepper and an onion. For whatever reason, I was totally in tune to other people and it seemed as if everyone I ran into was talking on a cell phone. This has got to be one of my biggest pet peeves - the fact that people can't stop talking on their phone for two seconds when they're grocery shopping. Or driving. Or at a restaurant with loved ones. Yes, I own a cell phone, but I swear, it's a losing proposition for me because I use it probably twice a month and that's if we're going somewhere that might separate us and then we use it to find each other again. That's pretty much it. I'm fond of saying (and I'm relatively certain that I didn't come up with it) that when Arthur C. Clarke envisioned 2001 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I'm relatively certain that he did not envision us talking on our phones all the time everywhere we go.

As I was leaving, I dawdled a bit by the newspapers - and realized, to my complete and utter amazement that you can buy the New York Post at Hy-Vee. IN AMES, IOWA. Back when I was in college, I had this love affair with the Post, thanks mostly to its prominent placement in one of my favorite books at that time Bright Lights Big City. Truthfully, I love that book even today - too bad Jay McInerney was never able to follow it up with anything that even came close to Bright Lights' level of greatness. I remember writing to the Post for back issues in 1993 - using the phone books in the Iowa City library to get the New York Post's phone number and then sending a check in for a couple of back issues. (this was in the days before the internet, folks!) Granted, the Post is now just a conservative rag, and the fact that you can buy it in Ames, Iowa (I still can't get over it!) certainly has caused it to lose its appeal.

So what an eventful trip to the store. This is my life folks. And I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, even though the incredible stress of work continues unabated.

2 comments:

Caryle said...

I'm not a big fan of the bottle bill. In Kansas, we were just asked to recycle and most people did because it was the right thing to do.

I'm not the kind of person that will save up my bottles and take them in to recover my nickel. I end up feeling like I've wasted my time. I'd rather just throw them in the recycling bin and have done with it. Plus, you're right, the redemption places are GROSS! A big deterrent in my book.

Most of the time I end up giving my bottles to someone at work that will actually take the time to turn them in. I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with the principle, but the execution leaves something to be desired.

Aunt Phetamine said...

Ah, yes. That is definitely one thing I don't miss about Iowa. In Minnesota, we don't pay a deposit (or if we do, I've never worried about it), so I just drop my cans and bottles into the bins provided every thirty feet on the U of M campus.

In Iowa City, they wouldn't even pick up glass curbside, and it's the easiest material to recycle!

As always,
Aunt Phetamine