Yes, I’m blaming this bonus round of winter for one of the most embarrassing events to occur to me in I-don’t-know-how-long. Okay, so here’s the set-up. I recycle my bottles and cans, including the redeemable soda, beer, and water containers, which I keep in trash bags in my garage. Once I’ve amassed three or four full bags, I stuff them into the car and away we go to the supermarket for my multitude of five-cent increments.

Last week, I noticed I had three full bags in the garage so, after running other errands, I sped back to the house, grabbed the bags, tossed them in the trunk and took off for my weekly shopping expedition. Once again, I was racing a winter storm so time was of the essence. At the supermarket, after circumnavigating the parking lot a dozen times, I found a parking space somewhere near Guam, grabbed a cart with three working wheels (and a fourth that wobbled and veered the cart to the right) and whipped the three bags of bottles/cans from my trunk. With one eye on the ever graying sky, I headed for the bottle redemption area. I lucked out and had the line of machines all to myself, which is always a great thing since I can position my cart and whip the empties from the bags into each individual machine: plastic, cans, glass in a rhythm that would make a hula dancer envious. 

Whip, whip, whip! I got into the groove, emptied bag #1 in no time, moved on to bag #2, untied the knot, and rapid-fired through with barely a pause. Moving right along. Got to bag #3, ripped open the knot. And stopped. Stared. Looked again. Bent and looked at it from another angle. 

Nope. No mistake. Bag #3 did not contain empty bottles and cans. Bag #3 contained…garbage. Apparently, during one of the major snowstorms we’d suffered through, when our household kitchen trash can was full, with no way to shlep the garbage outside and no way to get to the exterior cans, one of my genius family members opted to stow the garbage in the garage–right next to my bags of recyclables. And in my rush to get this task done before the latest coming blizzard, I never noticed–not when I’d grabbed the bags from the garage, not when I’d stowed them in the trunk, not when I’d pulled them out of the trunk, not when I’d put them into the shopping cart. It was only when I opened this last bag that the truth finally dawned on me. 

And worse, I had nowhere to stow this bag of trash now. I’m in the bottle redemption room. There is no garbage can–just a box for recyclables the store doesn’t accept and another for empty plastic bags. Okay, so I’m not proud of what I did next, but really, I didn’t have much of a choice. I had to leave the bag of garbage next to the box for recyclables. (And I am sooooo sorry! Really!)

On the upside, I managed to get my food shopping done before the first snowflake hit the ground.

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