Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City.

I was the king of the alley, Mama, I could talk some trash

Earlier this week we had a little painting project. So I went down to the cellar where we dutifully keep everything that isn't needed more than once a year.  Or ever again.  And I start checking paint cans and, sure enough, there's on of those 5 gallon buckets of the right color enamel.  Score.

Only I open it and discover that it's somewhat fossilized.  No problem, there's another one just like it, only still good.

And then, I'm left with a conundrum.  How does one get rid of a 5 gallon bucket, three-quarters full of nasty, discolored latex paint?  The city says you can "absorb the excess paint" with kitty littler or old newspaper and put it out with your regular trash.  Methinks they're envisioning a bit less excess paint.

They also cheerfully inform me that there's a recycling center I can take it to (which is open to the public 4 times a month).  And it's in the deepest furthest reaches of Brooklyn from me.  To get there, I need to carry the bucket 12 blocks to the subway, ride the subway to it's bitter end, and then walk another 5 blocks with the bucket.

I am not that heroic.  Or motivated.  That and I'm sure I'd be arrested on the train for having a suspicious package.

The rancid paint is back down in the cellar with the top off.  It should only take about a year for it to dry up into a solid mass I can put out with the regular trash.  Benign neglect can be a useful tool.

While we're waiting for science to work its magic, enjoy some Bruce.


Eric said...

You're clearly not a literary man, Nathan. Let me explain how you get rid of an excess bucket of paint:

1) Dress in overalls and a straw hat;

2) Take the paint and a brush outside;

3) Find a picket fence;

4) Begin painting the picket fence--slowly;

5a) When a child comes by, start singing loudly:

Oh, I'm just painting a fence
Standin' here painting this fence
So much fun painting this fence
Boy, I sure like painting this fence!

5b) Give the child a withering, contemptuous look and say, "Ha-ha, I'm painting a fence and you aren't, nyah!";

6) Continue with steps 1-5a/b until the child asks if he can have a turn painting the fence;

7) Tell the child, "No way, this is too much fun," and repeat steps 1-5a/b until the child begins whining, crying, complaining, etc. about how mean you are for not letting him have a turn;

8) Pretend to think about it, then tell the child you'll let him paint the fence for awhile if he gives you a nickel;

9) Pocket the child's nickel and hand him the brush;

10) Leave.

See? Simple, classic.

dednow: Jim Morrison, John Belushi, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Gram Parsons, Elvis....

Nathan said...

Eric, You may have forgotten where I live. There's no chance in hell that anyone's gonna be dumb enough to fall for that trick in Brooklyn.

OTOH, there's a decent chance someone will steal the paint if I turn my back for a minute, so it's worth a shot.

Tom said...

I also have things I want to throw out, but am constrained by municipal regulations. I used to have lots and lots of cardboard in my basement, because "they" wanted me to cut the cardboard down to 3' x 3', and bundle it with twine. I didn't like the fact that I had to buy twine to throw away, so it was always "I'll cut-and-bundle sometime later." Then they relaxed their regulations, and I started putting a few boxes out each week. I'm much less cardboarded than I used to be.

But I still have other stuff to toss. What the hell do you do with a congealed bag of cement, that's essentially a big rock in a tattered bag? And then there's the bag of grass seed and fertilizer that's now a bag of partially sprouted and dried up grass seed/sprouts with fertilizer. I'm beginning to wonder what would happed if I just put them out by the curb. No, I haven't tried, because I just know that if I do I'll run afoul of some town reg or other. "Yes, Officer Opy, I confess that I did put that envelope with my name on it under that bag-o-sprouts and that rock wrapped up in paper." And I want to maintain my eligibility to join up with father-rapers to protect this wonderful country of ours, so I can't risk being arrested for littering. (notice I didn't say "other father-rapers") Oh, wait! I already did the "protect the wonderful country" thing. It won't matter if I'm arrested for littering! I can just try to throw stuff away, without fear.

Thank you, Nathan! You don't know how much this new-found freedom means to me!

Nathan said...

I too have experience with the concrete pillow. I kept breaking off chunks of it and tossing about 5lbs. per week until it was eventually all gone.

P.S. You do know that you can fold the cardboard until it's small enough to bundle. You don't have to be out there slicing it into precise dimensions.

Tom said...

With my new-found freedom to toss, I partially dismantled an old rusty gas grill from the previous owners of my house, and set it out Sunday for pickup Monday morning. The trash men didn't even get a chance to pick it up. It was gone just an hour or two after I put it out! Now I really need to try the congealed concrete and sprouted seeds. If all else fails, your "chunk-at-a-time" trick sounds like it would do the trick!