Drink this vino: Castello La Leccia 2000 Bruciagna Chianti Classico
I should have been reflecting on the assorted delicioties of this excellent Super-Tuscan when I took my dog Zippy for a walk this morning, but I was not. I was observing the efficient hum of the American city on this, International Women’s Day.
That’s right. Today’s the day Zippy and I look forward to all year, the day when the United Nations officially reminds the 20 or 30 people who listen to public radio that women are human. You never know what to expect on International Women’s Day! Would we get equal pay for a day? Would there be a 24-hour moratorium on beating us to death with tire irons? Would the government hand out free tampons?
Nope. Public radio spins some singersongwriters and interviews a few gracious, Oxford-educated Third World women with hypnotic accents who teach Chinese orphan-girls to read. Then it goes back to Men’s Day for the rest of the year.
In North South Austin, International Women’s Day looks suspiciously like Garbage Day. To wit:
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the recycling truck roars along half a block ahead of you, spewing a trail of smashed glass and plastic soda bottles in its wake. If you fear garbage, this is your Room 101, because there is already a bunch of it in the streets; the regular garbage collectors have just been through, but the truck that cleans up the regular garbage collectors’ garbage has not.
A woman with a cell phone gives you the stink-eye for dropping your bag of dog poop into her dumpster. Note to self: next time leave it on her fucking lawn.
You turn a corner to meet the blank stare of an elderly halfwit in a gardening hat. She saunters past you and into her house without a care in the world. She don’t pay it no nevermind that her ferocious Rhodesian ridgeback has escaped and is now pursuing you with no small zeal. For this halfwit is one of the venerable Fucktards of Barton Hills.
A few yards ahead, a woman in pointy shoes tappity-taps through the filth to her Range Rover. Like all unaccompanied women who board Range Rovers in pointy shoes on International Women’s Day, she is emoting vigorously into a cell phone. The vehicle springs to life and lurches onto the lawn. It lurches back down the curb. It rolls over a blue recycling bin full of empty Turning Leaf pinot noir bottles and Diet Pepsi cans. It backs up. It rolls forward. The bin gets stuck on some nether-part of the Range Rover. The din is deafening. A flock of grackles scatters, a cat streaks away in the opposite direction. The Range Rover, the pointy shoe cell phone woman, and the bin all clatter away together in a whirl of aluminum and glass, a Holy Trinity of Trash, beyond the golden horizon.
Don’t mess with Texas!