Good morning, glorious readers! It is a bright and sunny Monday here in the South. Of course, it is a cold and miserable Monday elsewhere, but you are welcome to visit any time.
Yesterday, I took advantage of the sunshine to mosey over to my neighbors' house to return an umbrella that I borrowed from them when the weather was cold and miserable and wet. My neighbor Watt took that opportunity to Have a Word with Me:
Me: "Hello, my Watt! Here is the umbrella I borrowed. It is not broken!"
Watt: "Was it broken when you borrowed it?"
Me: "No, and it is still not broken. Because I am being a good neighbor today."
Watt: "Actually, I need to Have a Word with You."
Me: "I am hearing capital letters when you talk, and it is making me nervous. What have I done?"
Watt: "You pulled your recycling bin out to the curb."
Me: "Yes! Yes, I did! This is a thing that I am proud of, since I usually forget to do so until I hear the rumble of the truck, and then I must run and fall and run and pull and fall, it is all very stressful and dangerous."
Watt: "Well, let me ask you this: did you read something in the paper about the recycling being picked up tomorrow?"
Me: "No, I read about a guy who cleared his driveway of snow with a flame-thrower."
Watt: [stern look]
Me: "It's possible that I was reading the internet and not a newspaper. And my friend Michelle says that didn't really happen. And she should know because she lives in North Dakota where they have another blizzard coming. I feel badly for that Michelle."
Watt: "What I am trying to say to you is that recycling is not due to be picked up tomorrow."
Me: "But...it must be. It's been two weeks since they came, and I failed to remember to pull my bin to the curb."
Watt: "Yes, but this is not the first or third Monday of the month."
Me: "I thought they came every two weeks."
Watt: "They come the first and third Monday of the month."
Watt: "Now, come over here and look outside. What do you see on our street?"
Me: "There are three other recycling bins at the curb. Hey! Maybe I'm right after all!"
Watt: [a second stern look]
Me: "Maybe the rest of this street also struggles with the recycling schedule?"
Watt: "Maybe the rest of the street saw you push your bin out there, and, one by one, they have put theirs out as well. Maybe the rest of the street thinks you read something about the recycling being picked up tomorrow rather than fake stories about clearing snow with flamethrowers."
Me: "Oh. So I am a menace to the neighborhood."
Watt: "I wouldn't go that far."
Me: "But I am not being a good neighbor. I am being a bad influence. Again."
Watt: "Yes, yes you are."
Me: "You know, I change shoes and put on a cosy sweater every day when I get home from work."
Watt: [blank look]
Me: "But Mr. Rogers would still be disappointed in me."