Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Going to the Dump: A Comparative Analysis

Today I made three trips to the dump in Palm Beach County, Florida. Now, usually I like going to the dump, for a few different reasons. First off, they have big machines that crawl over the piles of waste and move them around, and I like watching big machines crawl over and move shit, cuz big machines are just cool (I used to fantasize about owning my own backhoe, back in my twenties. I didn't really have a plan for what I would do with such a thing (aside from never have to worry about finding a parking space), but I really wanted one anyway). Second of all, in Seattle, where I live, when you go to the dump, you get to back the truck up to a concrete overhang and just chuck your shit over into the pile and watch the bulldozer down in it move it all over to where they load it into trucks and take it to the actual dump (what I, as a civilian, think of as the dump is actually called a transfer station). It's fun. And though it always pisses the guy off and he hand-signals you not to do it anymore, it's also fun because you can chuck your shit at the bulldozer and not worry, because it's a bulldozer, and they build those things solid. All of these things make my inner punk-rock teenager clap his hands with savage glee.

South Florida, well, not so much. It's a perfectly well-run operation. I give them props for that. I was in and out in twenty minutes all three times. But it wasn't as much fun as Seattle, for a couple of reasons.

The first thing was, you just dump your shit on a concrete floor, and the bulldozer's there with you, pushing the shit over to the edge, where a backhoe loads the trucks below. So you don't get the feeling of throwing your shit over a cliff. And it smells in there. Oh Em Eff Gee does it smell in there. It smells so bad that just the little bit of the gook that sticks to the bottoms of your shoes from walking around on the concrete floor makes the cab of the truck stink the whole way back, so you have to open the windows to air it out while you drive back, even though it's hot out, although it's not so bad if you grew up here, which Heidi and I both did.

Still, more than enough to take the fun out of the experience. And I guess it did distract me from the fact that I was throwing away the couch my Mom sat on and loved since I was in like 9th grade. I used to hide my furtively-recorded Skinemax Friday after hours softcore under that couch. Why I didn't keep it in my room I'll never know, except that teenagers are dumb and don't think things through.

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