Besides, Cabana Boy, who delights in video-recording all of my finer moments, has visual and audio proof that we tended to her with antibacterial wipes, some Earl Grey in bone china, and a protein bar. (The contents of my pockets are a survivalist's dream.)
Driven by your nonstop telephoning and that irritating phenomenon of vibrating, buzzing texts, I just rolled out to check on her and get a quote for this day-after, noon-edition addition. There is an odd shiny clean area on her otherwise grimy and comedo-ridden forehead, sort of a dermatological crop circle. Her remark, verbatim, about the clay-throwing incident consists of the following: "What the hell are you talking about? I'm a crack whore!"
I'm turning off my stupid smart phone. Surely you have something better to do than attack the Mistress of Marlinspike Hall Recycling? Jeez.
Several small joys to share.
We finally were "enrolled" in Tête de Hergé's West of the Lone Alp Moat-Side Recycling Program for Manors. I was ridiculously excited and declared myself Mistress of Marlinspike Hall Recycling, in one of those moments that recalls my famous 1984 declaration, made during a deep sleep cycle: "I can do it. I can do anything."
My bedmate was reading, his light dim, and I was, according to his very faulty memory, snoring loudly, even "obnoxiously." Then I sat up, or in the wannabe writer's turned phrase, "sat bolt upright," and made my declaration of omnipotence.
And so it was that during this past week I filled the specified blue bags with cans, bottles, an alarming number of yogurt cartons, and other plastics. I combined all my meds and carefully blacked out the prescription information on over 20 pill bottles. I kept a manageable bucket for the daily junk mail and the massive printing production of my electronic health record. We disassembled a good many cardboard boxes and tossed in any paper products not excessively grotesque.
"I can do it. I can do anything."
We have a rather complicated system of sanitation management, as you likely suspected. To shorten the tale, in order to fulfill my vaunted claims, I needed to drag, carry, somehow transport the carefully sorted and assembled refuse that we were rescuing from an eternity in landfill hell... through some of the grander halls of the Manor, left in a pristine state by the genetically indentured Domestic Staff so as to be welcoming to the early morning tourists, and then through the replicated bronze Florentian Baptistery Doors, across the drawbridge, over the moat, to the designated pick-up area across from the Miniature Minotaur Husbandry Laboratories. (The Haddocks are very forward-looking in the R&D plans for our Labyrinth. But they are also pragmatists.)
Well, we've had quite a bit of rain these past few days. I've had no improvement in my hands, but their approximation of claws came in... well, handy. What a grip! I put the huge blue bag o'recyclables lovingly collected atop the official Bin, with its, um, handy pull cord, and set my power chair on automatic pilot.
The bag fell off approximately every 5 feet of lumbering advancement. Fred was studiously studying an upside down Euclidean Geometry. Bianca Castafiore watched me from the large mirror before which she was practicing her Slovak, elaborately mouthing a translated Jewel Song, her signature aria, and trying to synch her patented theatrical gesticulations. Large, broad gesticulations. The Opera plans opulent performances in Bratislava, and plans to cart away trainloads of Euros to be converted once the exchange rate is more favorable. And Sven? Well, Sven offered numerous times to help until his smarty-panted son, Cabana Boy, finally hissed: "Dad, hush up, eh? She said she can do it all by herself, that she can do anything." To which Sven responded, Sven-like, "Oh, well, then, more power to her, good on her!" and resumed watching The Food Network.
Spurt by spurt, jerk by jerk, spill by spill, I maneuvered our carbon footprint apology closer to the collection point, slowed considerably by having to repackage the contents of the huge blue bag when it got prematurely processed, smooshed, and squashed in a major flattening exerted by our unusual front door. Blame Ghiberti, though I suppose my clumsiness played a minor role.
On the drawbridge, I was inspired to change techniques, and began gently throwing the bag a few feet ahead, then roaring up to it, the big blue bin in tow. Which is how I broke my collarbone, or maybe just tore a muscle. Yeah, okay, it was more of a rip than a crack, though now it's clearly the sound of crumbling. Crackling.
Once across the eerily luminescent water, with a new shape where my left shoulder used to be, but my claws still reliably clawing, I ran the wheelchair off the path and got stuck in the mud.
The Crack Whore snorted and snorted and snorted, her face wavy in the green glow of algae.
I got her square in the forehead with a clod of moist and chalky red clay.
That shut her up.
Using the rock-and-roll technique famous to all Stuck-In-The-Mud types, my gray spiked wheels wrenched themselves free of the morass with a loud sucking sound, and I finished my task without incident.
Well, there will be a co-pay for the x-rays and the CT scan, or we could spring for a value bottle of generic ibuprofen. And then there's the cost of running the chair through Abbot Truffatore's private car wash -- but there again, I benefit from a thorough washing, too, and my hair loves the optional wax cycle.
"I can do it. I can do anything."
Before next week's offering of our tremendous refuse for reuse, I may work out an alternate route, and adjust some of my techniques.
The other small joys? Well, my claws are cramping so a short list will have to do: a wonderful salad, sprinkled with white balsamic vinegar and shaved parmesan rinds, eight hours of sleep (if you're liberally polysemic with "eight" and "sleep"), extra Dobby time, and an updated blues selection thanks to a Keb' Mo' download.
Thirty years ago, I had nary an inkling of what there even was to be done out there. Stay tuned.
© 2013 L. Ryan