Thursday, July 17, 2008

Edit This

The moment I heard the words, “People who don’t give their nickels to the Tree People should be killed,” come out of my mouth, I should have realized I would be getting my period within the week.

I was buying my lunch at the Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks last Friday (which, by the way, used to be another health food store called Mrs. Gooches, a real drift-wood-macrame-and-bare-feet-1970’s kind of health food store and, unfortunately, still smells like a naked hippy’s unwashed yoga mat). I actually remembered to bring my very chic black & white flower print rollupandsnaptogether grocery sack that I bought at some overpriced and groovy recycling store in Eagle Rock so I could become part of the solution, but still look cute. The cashier told me I’d get a nickel off my purchase for bringing my own bag. He then asked if I wanted to donate the nickel to The Tree People. A nickel. I said sure. And then I joked, “Does anyone ever ask for the nickel back?” The cashier and the woman bagging my groceries exchanged smirks, and the Baggette said, “Oh, yeah. All the time.” I couldn’t believe it. It isn’t as though the Prius driving, valley dwelling swells who shop organic are throwing rent parties. This isn’t a Jon’s, after all.

That Sunday, I went to buy some frames at the “buy one and get a second for a penny sale” at Aaron Brothers. I needed to hang some vintage mugshots of women arrested in Philly in the 1960’s, that I purchased recently on ebay from a retired cop. I was standing in the parking lot loading the purchases into my trunk, when my friend Arthur looked over my shoulder and shook his head. Behind me, a canary yellow Hummer was idling, waiting for the car in front of it to move. Arthur informed me the driver had just thrown a plastic cup out of the window. Sure enough, there on the ground next to the truck was an empty frappacino cup from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

I hate litterers. Hate, hate, hate. I mean, I’m not out in the back mulching or anything; I don’t even recycle. But who throws garbage on the ground? Was this person raised by wolves? Which reminds me of one time when I was in Griffith Park and I saw a guy teaching his little boy how to shoot bottle caps by snapping them between his fingers so they’d fly over the cliff into the bushes. I turned to him and pleaded, “Please don’t do that! This is a park!” He smiled at me, shrugged and responded, “It’s ok. It’s just bottle caps.”

Anyway, so I marched over to the Coffee Bean cup, picked it up and walked a couple of steps toward the open window of the Hummer. The driver was a woman in her late 20’s or early 30’s, with lots of makeup, strange blond highlights and a bad perm. Handing her the cup, I smiled and explained firmly, yet sweetly (well, maybe not sweetly), “You dropped this.” She looked at me in disbelief and accepted the cup. Icily she thanked me. “You’re welcome,” I shot back smugly. As I approached Arthur he looked beyond me and announced, “Good job. She drove two feet and threw the cup out the window again.”

Tuesday morning I got my period. I rolled in to work late and met Jeff in the kitchen. Over granola and yogurt, we began discussing the brouhaha over the New Yorker cover depicting Obama and his wife as gun wielding terrorists, while behind them the American flag burns in their fireplace. We agreed that we hate everyone, something we do at least once or twice a day over one thing or another. Then a tall, thin, blond editor with dark bags under her eyes who was peering into the refrigerator nearby chimed in. “Did you see that cartoon? I think it was HORRIBLE!” I disagreed, telling her I thought it was great. She replied, “It hit a little too close to home.” I informed her that is what good satire is supposed to do. As she walked past me toward the microwave, probably carrying some tasteless vegan disaster, she tossed out, “Maybe it was just for smart people, like you.” I agreed that it probably was, turned to Jeff, and asked him to remind me to renew my New Yorker subscription.


1 comment:

Green said...

I got laid off in May of 2007. So I do ask for the nickel back. And I handle people who litter exactly the same way you do - pick up whatever they threw on the ground, and hand it to them.