Sunday, May 22, 2011

Trash to treasure

Its official.  I've become a Bag-Lady. I know the instant it happened and I'm here to confess it; to just get the whole embarrassing mess out in the open.

It happened when I was taking the trash to the dump Friday before last.  It is officially called a "transfer station" because the garbage is thrown down a chute and eventually whisked away in a large truck to the landfill.  Anyway, I backed my pickup next to another one, put it in park, and jumped out.  Lo and behold, someone had left a pile of books and an impeccable table lamp right there on the ledge.  They could have easily thrown it over but there it was in all its glory; compact fluorescent bulb still intact.

I furtively looked around to see if perhaps the other rubbish-dumper had set it there.  Keeping one eye on the prize, I casually and slowly heaved my sacks over the rail and into the dark hole. Darn, another garbage patron moved over to the pile of books and gleaming lamp. I watched with horror and disappointment as he carefully picked through the interesting pile. After just moments, he stood up, walked back to his car and drove off. It was like he hadn't even seen the lamp! I quickly and non-chalantly swooped it up and placed it in my truck before climbing in, heart thumping.  To the casual observer I wanted to make it look like I had just set it down on the ledge to get it out of the way while I dumped my true rubbish, then retrieved it when I was done with the hard work.

As I drove off, I still couldn't believe what I had done.  I didn't even know if it worked! I have now tested it and it does, indeed, light up a room.  Do I need another table lamp? That is beside the point. Maybe I'll re-gift it with a nice new lamp shade. 

For now I'll just stash it in my grocery cart (aka house) with the rest of my worldly possessions.  I'm a little worried though.  First it was pennies off of the sidewalk. Now I'm claiming someone else's trash.  What is next? Pulling recycling out of the bins? Stealing newspapers from boxes? Someone should stop me before I need an intervention and end up on a reality T.V. show called "Compulsive Collecting". 

But for now I'll rub my new lamp clean and see what good luck it might bring me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Labels are meant to be read"

So, I'm sitting around watching a show on my computer and I see an add for an allergy medicine. They are yammering on about not drinking fruit juice with some type of medicine and the chic says, "labels are meant to be read." Really?  Is that their message? Are they trying to sell a product or just point out how stupid the general public is?

I have to confess something right here and now.  I am not a label reader.  Yes, if I get a prescription, I do read all of the special tags that the pharmacist sticks to the vial: "Take with Food", "May cause drowsiness", "Do not use orally", "Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up", and the like. But do I read the two page diatribe that they stick in the bag regarding all of the debilitating trauma this pain-relieving medication is likely to inflict on my compromised immune system? No. I just want to pop the pills and get on with the healing.  Side-effects are for suckers.

Actually, this got me thinking about some of the common things I take for granted that I consume on a daily basis. Are there side-effects from them? This is what I discovered:

Caffeine:  Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); diarrhea; shakiness; trouble sleeping; vomiting.

Granola: Intestinal gas and bloating. Poorly chewed oats can cause blockage of the intestine.

Orange juice:  Insomnia,  severe back pain, copper deficiency, jaundice infection, vitamin B12 depletion, dental cavities, an increased need for oxygen, leading to additional pressure on heart.

Tomorrow I'm skipping breakfast.  I'm skipping all the way to a Snickers bar because I've looked and there are no side effects listed on the package. They are perfectly safe...