The Green Thing

From a Facebook forward:

Checking out at the grocery store recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.” She was right about one thing – our generation didn’t have the green thing in “our” day. So what did we have back then?

 After some reflection and soul-searching on “our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have…

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house – not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please share this so another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty-pants young person can add to this. ;)

Shared by Michelle Routhieaux 2012

Space Camp

12-6-11     4:35pm

Hi Mom,

Guess what! Outer space is COOL! I’m weightless up here so no worries about wrinkles. Poor earthly folk and their wrinkles. I want to stay here forEVER. For just $49.95 per week I can! They take Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover AND I can earn Diner’s Club rewards on food!! Of course this doesn’t include the cost of oxygen, food, supervision, medical expenses, waste management or transportation. Just the glorious right to occupy space for a time.

Oh Mom, I just know you’d love it. They have a parents package too. I’ll send you that too. I wonder if space has a postal system yet…

Anyway, my new friend Max and I found a field of lilies FULL of tiny blue martians. Awww, they’re SO CUTE!!! Can I keep him PLEEEAAASE??!!!

I named mine Max, just like my new friend. He’s blue and fuzzy and mostly toilet trained. Of course his ACTUAL name is Maxemillion Cornelius Barnaby the 3rd of the Order of Planets, 3rd Division Purple Line. But we just call him Max. Oh, Mom. You’ll love him. Just make sure to wear your industrial grade orange goggles when you look at him or his glow will melt your eyes.

Have you ever tried salmon fried by the death rays of a monster alien? I’m not sure how the fish got up here but it’s SOOO good. Mmmmm. :) You can even eat purple glitter here and the snowflakes taste like roses.

We have a complicated waste management system here. We learned all about it yesterday. You’d be amazed what they can do with shit. You know that phrase “Eat shit and die?” Well not anymore. Meet the ShiTron 5000. Turns any size, shape or consistency shit into good-for-you rainbow jellybeans. Magic! Eat some for a snack or sprinkle them on your garden. 100% environment friendly with 0% toxicity. We could get our own ShiTron 5000 for only $800, per month, for the duration of the existence of space. Definitely on MY Christmas list. What’s on YOUR Christmas list?

Oh Mom, I have to go. Max and Max and I send our love and a package of jellybeans. I want to stay here forEVER.

Love, Michelle

PS – I’m not coming home until I at LEAST see a butterfly in space.

Love, Mom

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

Side Effects of Christmas

Written on Black Friday at the mall on a bench outside Cinnabon.

11/25/11     4:25pm

Side Effects of Christmas:

  • Fits of joy
  • Random singing & laughter
  • Urges to bake or give things to strangers
  • Uncontrollable shopping sprees
  • Flashbacks
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Urges to die
  • Intense anger
  • Spontaneous death of self or others
  • Temporary loss of judgement
  • Poor clothing choices
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Spike in your need to watch Lifetime or The Family Channel
  • Excessive picture-taking
  • Loss of time
  • Sitting for long periods of time alone on a mall bench wondering why it is we do this again… followed by a Cinnabon.

Red flag shopping warning signs:

  • Uttering to yourself more than 3 times in a day, “Man, I must be old.”
  • Sympathizing with the forlorn kiosk people
  • Falling for their “Can I ask you a question?” cuz you just can’t walk any further
  • Wishing you were the kid asleep in the stroller.

Please feel free to add your own.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011

Dead Cat – not that one

11-12-11 12:57am

Some coyote left a disemboweled cat in my yard today… Dude, finish the job, ok? Is this punishment? What did I ever do to you? While I AM fascinated by the intact aortic artery (more like bewondered), I do NOT appreciate the freaked out mom and pool of blood staining my blue kitty litter yard. Ugh. Really.

I called the police for a pick up but the probee who answered the phone told me they don’t pick up cats because they’re not domesticated. (???) I said, “Well, they’re not wild.” He insisted he was right because they are not licenseable like a dog or a horse. (You can license a horse? Alrighty then.) I asked again what I am supposed to do with this cat. He told me that I should probably just put it in a trash bag and put it in my dumpster. At this point I reminded him that placing a dead animal in your dumpster is illegal. (pause) Uh huh. I’m hoping he felt as stupid as he sounded.

Finally he consulted with his fellow dispatchers who told him that he is, in fact, an idiot and that Animal Control DOES pick up cats and how to contact them. He neglected to place me on hold for this conversation.

I have kept my urge to take pics of the dead cat in check, so far. Unlike my house guest for the night. (hint, hint) My mother is freaking out. Still. I would usually just put the cat on a box lid and take it down to the vet. But man, this cat is gutted. Literally. Lol. Wow. I never thought I’d have a literal sense to use that word in. (pause for more bewonderment) But I just couldn’t bring myself to box this cat. It’s fuzzy and cute and not fully in rigor yet. :( Leave it to the animal pros. Or at least the ones that deal with dead ones on a daily basis. That is, if the coyote doesn’t come back to pick up it’s doggy cat bag before morning.

You know, a cat gutted a gopher in my yard once. Coolest thing I ever found. And then it was gone. (SHOCK!) I was so disappointed… I can still see it in my head. Is there some diagnostic name for fascination with guts? If so, I think I have it. Or I need it. Maybe I could eat it and then it would become PART of my guts. Way cool!!! Lol.

Oh, man. I need to sleep.

Cheers, M

© Michelle Routhieaux 2011