Come back Pretty, PLEASE come back Pretty, please come back!   She’s out of control…you’ve left me with an old woman who’s out of control!!   Either we go back to South Carolina with the rest of you so I can have some HELP, or I wash my paws of this responsibility for her.   I’m not a shirker, as you know, but I’m at my wit’s end with this woman.   Please forgive me, Pretty, if you’re reading this.    I didn’t want to disappoint you, but she’s  impossible this week!

I’m all about conserving my environment, yes, yes, yes.   And I’ve gone along with saving these Diet Coke cans, plastic bottles, and wine and beer glass bottles for the past month.   Slow has a little grocery bag hanging on the pantry door in the kitchen and faithfully washes EVERY can and bottle before she puts them in the little sack.   When that gets full, she takes that sack into the garage and empties those into a BIGGER plastic bag and again, faithfully separates cans from plastic and glass.   I mean, she has gone through that routine for a month.   So far, so good.   So….what’s the problem?   Well, the problem is evidently NOBODY CARES about the environment around here.   No recycling.   Get it?   No recycling, no recycling, no recycling.  

Not to be outdone, the old woman looked on this Machine That Knows Everything and located a recycling center in Conroe, 15 miles east of here.   She meticulously puts the address in another Machine That Can Find Everything and off we go with a shitload of aluminum Diet Coke cans, wine and beer bottles and plastic whatevers.   Loads all of this in the back seat of our truck ( notice that she has now interfered with MY space with all of this crap) and follows the directions of a Talking Machine that sounds like a woman, for God’s sake.   Deliver me from the 21st century.   We drive forever and this Talking Machine keeps saying that we’ve “Arrived at your destination on the right.”   That’s just perfect!   That’s just perfect, except that there is No Recycling Place Anywhere!   Do you hear me, Woman in the Machine?   There is not one anywhere on the right, or on the left, either, for that matter.   I’m in the truck with an environmental NUT who keeps driving around in circles looking for something that clearly doesn’t exist!

Does the old girl give up?   Of course not.   She decides to go to the bank to make a deposit and asks this nice young woman who is the teller if she knows where the recycling place is.   After much ado, the woman sends Slow off in the opposite direction and assures her that she can’t miss it.   Fifteen minutes later, the old woman drives into a Salvage business and asks them if this is the recycling center.   Now, I’m all about diversity, ALL about diversity, all about diversity.   I am NOT a snob, by any means.   However, I have to admit that my antenna went up a notch or two when we pulled into this  – this – establishment.   The odors that assaulted my sniffs weren’t good.   I was feeling some mighty bad VIBES and just a tad undone by the sights and sounds.

I’ll be damn if the old thing doesn’t get out of the truck and bumble around until she finds some man who appeared to be in charge and not very happy to see Slow.   I heard him tell her that they did, indeed, take cans.   But, no bottles, no glass, no plastics.   He pointed to an area clearly marked CANS and Slow drove over in the general direction.   By this time, I’m getting very nervous, very nervous, very nervous.   Let’s get out of here, you old bat!   Let’s get out while we still can!

It turns out Slow has parked in the wrong spot – she’s blocking all the other people with their trucks who KNOW the routine.   So she moves and then stops where another man points for her to park.   Well, she’s made so many turnarounds today that her sack with the cans has toppled over in the back seat (pardon moi) and when she opens the back door, they all start spilling out onto the ground.   So, now we have an old woman chasing around after cans rolling under the truck and then struggling to get up after she retrieves them.   Oh, my God.   Where are you, Pretty??

She finally got them collected and gave them to the man who put them on some kind of odd conveyor belt and then, would you believe it?   He gave the poor old thing a yellow slip of paper with the amount of $2.40 written on it and told her to take it to the cashier.   Well, I never.   Are you kidding me?   We bring them all these cans, and then they give us $2.40?   I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or bark.

So, she goes over to the cashier’s window with her little yellow paper and gets there simultaneously with another person, a man who has a red t-shirt with the large white letters GOT TEETH written on it.   Seriously, that was the t-shirt, and he didn’t – have any teeth, for real.   He did have long yellow hair, not blonde, yellow.   His appearance was, well, disheveled, if you pardon my candor.   He graciously allowed Slow to go first, which she did, by passing the yellow paper through the window that was blacked out and very thick so that you couldn’t see the cashier at all.   So, Slow asks the Window where to take her glass bottles.   The old woman never quits, does she?   The Window replied that she didn’t have a clue.

Then, the toothless young man told Slow that he had heard that the City of Conroe was about to start recycling glass and plastic and asked her if she knew anybody in Conroe because if she just happened to know anybody in Conroe, maybe they would let her put her things in their new blue recycling containers.   And, by the way, in his opinion, Texas was a little too far BEHIND in its commitment to environmental issues.   So Slow says that she DOES have cousins in Conroe (she has them in every community, it seems) and that that was a very good suggestion about the bottles.   Can anybody help me here????   Slow and a toothless man are talking about the environment while they are standing in a SALVAGE DUMP!!!

Woe is me, woe is me, woe is me.   I cannot make this up.   We left the Dump and drove yet another time with the directions of the Woman in the Talking Machine to look for the real recycling center one more time.   To no avail, I might add.   I was hanging my head out the window to try to get some fresh air, and I saw a Mitsubishi Mirage LS with a bumper sticker that read “I Do Not Like Bottles.”   She had two bumper stickers.   The other one said “Life is But a Dream.”   Amen, sister.   Tell it.

Two hours after we’d started this odyssey Slow finally gave up and threw the bottles in some business’s garbage cans.   Oh, well.   We tried, Pretty.