Behold the quaint wicker basket. Whenever I look at it I am consumed with the icy purgatorial fires of hatred. Some previous occupant of my house nailed it up so that the US Postal Service can stop by every day and drop off 759 mail-order catalogs.
Every day I dump the entire contents of this mail basket (consistently depressing results have caused me to give up even looking through it) directly into one of the paper grocery bags I am forced to accumulate specifically for this purpose. The paper bag sits on the floor of my kitchen, where it attracts dog hair. There is room for only one paper bag of mail-order catalogs at a time in my cubicle-sized kitchen, so when the bag fills up, I remove it to my front porch, where it attracts venomous spiders. Then I start another bag. I must remember, on Monday nights, to drag my impressive collection of paper bags full of dog hair and spiders and mail-order catalogs–they are imposingly heavy– to the curb, lest I miss the recycling truck on Tuesday morning. If I’m not on my A-game, recycling-truck-wise, my front porch will fill up in no time flat with paper bags full of mail-order catalogs.
One time I missed the recycling truck two weeks in a row. My front porch swiftly became a swollen chaos of paper (see photo below). I had to call in a disaster recovery team. They found the rotting corpse of a neighbor boy under all the bags. I pretended to feel sad about this, but it turned out to be the same kid who once chucked unshelled pecans at my new car, so inwardly I danced a little jig.
I realize there’s no way to keep the catalog companies from inundating me with paper that I immediately throw away. Whether their behavior stems from a murderous hatred of trees or from a compulsion to spread far and wide low-quality images of cheap crap from China, I know not, but there can be little doubt that it is a kind of insanity.
And believe me, ordinarily I am the last person to be unsympathetic toward uncontrollable hatred or compulsions or insanity. Ask anyone down at Spinster Aunt HQ, and they’ll tell you that Twisty Faster is equanimity itself. A model of forbearance, you might say. Yet there are limits.
I am beginning to lose patience with this catalogial inundation.
An identical effect, from both the forests’ and the catalog companies’ perspective, would obtain if they simply cut down the trees and shipped them directly to the landfill, leaving me the fuck out of it. I have, in fact, suggested this cunning scheme to several of the mail-order catalog companies. In response they sent more catalogs.
I then attempted to persuade my letter-carrier to deposit my mail directly into the wheeled garbage receptacle I put out on the porch. "Mail box, garbage can–what’s the diff?" I said reasonably. But apparently there is a diff, albeit one visible only to the trained eye of a dour civil servant. She was all, "no way, Jose."
All I’m sayin is, it is seriously NUTS that I am expected to maintain disposal facilities for the convenience of tree-hating capitalist entities that exist exclusively for the purpose of sending me bags of garbage.