I was thinkin' about Ursus...

There’s a family of bears living in our neighborhood. The other night after work, I went on a long walk in the woods, mostly to clear my head, but also sort of hoping I might catch a glimpse of the bear. On my return, I walked around the lake a bit, and saw garbage strewn about on the street. A pod of neighbors were standing there, discussing how the bear had been doing laps around the lake, getting into the cans.

I stopped to clean it up, even though I didn’t particularly feel like it, because that seemed like the neighborly thing to do, but I have to say, I was pretty irritated at the contents of their garbage. Recycling here could not be easier . There’s no sorting required. Everything –- cans, paper, cardboard, plastic, wax milk cartons -- it all just goes in one giant bin for bi-weekly curbside pickup.

This house has the two bins, one for garbage, and one for recycling, and the garbage bin has been tipped over and strewn about by the bear. I start cleaning it up, but there’s like, half a ream of paper, empty tuna cans, cardboard boxes, an uneaten lunchable, eggshells, and it’s all held together in a matrix of bright orange pasta-like food, maybe Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and tufts of dog and cat hair, with a bit of rice-a-roni or something vaguely food-like. It turns out I am annoyed by the lack of recycling, but also by just how they eat.

But now that I’ve started this project, I can't really walk away, and I also I feel like it wouldn’t be that hard to do a little sorting, and toss the recyclables into the recycling bin that’s sitting right there, nearly empty, so I start on that, but the whole project is stinky and unpleasant, and it’s one of those Things I’ve Started, that I wish I hadn’t. And I’m wondering what it is with people that they practically go out of their way to do the wrong thing.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because our beloved deputy director was forced to resign after 23 years of dedicated service, and it’s so wrong that it makes it hard to believe in karma. The guy who was fired is someone who worked hard, and cared about all aspects of what we do: land use regulation, trying to be fair with the people we serve, and protecting the environment. He tried to apply reason and empathy to the work of regulating peoples’ property. The supposed crime that he committed, “the appearance of conflict of interest”, seems pretty weak, especially given that he contacted the ethics committee and his own attorney at the time, and followed their advice.

It seems like far less of an appearance of conflict of interest than the rumors that are floating around about our new executive. I will definitely look into those.

So I finish cleaning up this mess in the street, walk the last little bit to my house, and find four increasingly terrified messages from my neighbor, reporting that 1) there’s a bear in the neighborhood, 2) the bear is in her yard; 3) it’s coming my way, 4) it’s in my yard. This neighbor, who hasn’t been on a walk in living memory, saw all this from her deck, while I was walking in the woods, and then cleaning up the bear food at the bottom of her driveway. Does that seem right?

Comments

  1. The thing that really gets me about bears is that they don't pick up after themselves when they're done pawing through your trash, although the fact that they don't recycle is problematic as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The thing that really gets me about bears is that they don't pick up after themselves when they're done pawing through your trash, although the fact that they don't recycle is problematic as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Don't understand the double post. It wasn't that funny the first time around, never mind twice.

    ReplyDelete
  4. No. None of that sounds right. Maybe karmic balance would be achieved if the bear ate your neighbors, then moved on to the new executive.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Upleveling Our Badassery

The Dowdy Church-lady Post

Carry on, my friends.