So, today’s garbage day. It’s an interesting concept, where we simply put anything nasty or dead or rotten into this box by the curb and it magically goes away.

It reminds me of a joke about the ‘magic coffee table’ where you leave your chip bags, your crumbs, your pizza boxes and it all magically vanishes. Anyone who’s married knows about this magic coffee table. 🙂

But I digress. As I often do. This is about garbage. Kind of, at least.

It may be more about leaving things to someone else that you should be taking care of yourself. I mean, a five-year-old can get away with leaving a trail of chip bags and cookie crumbs strung across the living room floor. A thirty-year-old spousal unit? Not so much.

As we grow up, we realize that there is no magic coffee table. It’s your spousal unit that’s been mysteriously and benevolently cleaning up after you. And – if you haven’t been reciprocating by mysteriously mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathrooms and other such jobs, you’ll probably come to the end of the benevolence at some point.

Yes, yes, there is a point to all this. Stay with me. 🙂

Where does the garbage go that mysteriously vanishes from the front of your house every Tuesday? Does it actually get dumped in some other fantasy realm? Probably not so much. Personally, I know where my garbage goes. It gets hauled by truck to ‘the transfer center’ (sexy name, no?) and is dumped into giant bins. When those bins get full, they’re hauled across the county to another county and dumped into a giant hole in the ground.

A giant hole in the ground.

Are there many things you can think of that aren’t foreshadowed by THAT?

This giant hole in the ground has a giant sheet of plastic under it that keeps the various and sundry garbage nasties from leaching into the groundwater.

A few short years ago, I was in Home Depot and I bought some sealing goop that promised a twenty year lifespan! Twenty years! That’s like forever. Isn’t it?

It’s now 25 years later, and that stuff isn’t sealing as well anymore. It’s pulling away from the shower pan, and water’s leaking around it. Time to buy some more twenty year goop and re-seal it, right?

Yeah. What about that plastic sheet under the garbage. What do you suppose its warranty is? Twenty years? Fifty years? ONE HUNDRED YEARS?

How many time bombs have we left our grandkids with?

No, I don’t have a solution. But I tell you, the bill for that clean coffee table is coming due soon. And it’s not going to be cheap. Or pretty.

Maybe I do have a suggestion – let’s get better at developing ways of burning that garbage and making electricity out of it. Two birds with one stone? Two massive problems with one solution?