A reading from the Book of Recycling

yogurt cup

And perched upon their blue bins in the field, the people did cry out, “O, Master, show us the true path of recycling. Tell us what is pleasing in your sight and what must be cast into the abyss of municipal landfill. And the rolling out of the wheely bins, we beseech you, be it the second Friday of the month or the third? We can never remember.”

The Master rose before them, stretching heavenward his palms enrobed in safety gloves that protecteth the fingers, even unto the pinkie. And he said:

“Fear not the recycling, for the recycling is good. Question not the recycling, for the recycling is holy. Shun not the recycling, for the neighbours will make their snide remarks one to the other.”

And the people replied unto him, “Hold up, Master. For, verily, on the sanctity of the recycling, we are sold. Lo, it is many seasons since we looked upon our municipal tax bill and did grumble. That the recycling truck does not merely drive to the dump, in this our faith is mighty. But the sorting of the products: forgive us, Master, for we know not what we do.”

The Master did smile with condescension upon them then and said:

“Bring unto the blue bin your paper products, your cardboards corrugated and non, your newspapers and envelopes, yea, even with the little plastic windows, for they are blessed. But produce not the papers of tissue, spawn of Kleenex and Scott, for they are flimsy and kind of gross. Nor shall you bring forth the padded envelope, for the paper may not be sundered from the bubble wrap, though popping it be a hoot.

“Your milk cartons you may recycle, even though they are lined with wax, for that is just the way it is, don’t ask.

“Suffer the little jars and tins to come unto the sorting centre, yea, even the lids, though they be tiny and potentially pointy.

“The Styrofoam you may not recycle, as I have told you over and over. No matter how many times you try, it’s just not going to happen.”

And then the people did plead, “But the plastic, Master, what of the plastic?”

The Master did then produce from somewhere on his person, they knew not where, a yogurt tub. And he did ask them, “What is this I hold before me?”

“It is a yogurt tub, Master,” they cried.

“Is it rinsed and void of all particles that would attract the fly, the mould, the creepy-crawly things?”

“It is, yes, Master. It is truly spic and span. Let us recycle it, Master. Let us recycle it good!”

“But is this not a half-eaten sausage in my other hand?” he spoke, raising aloft the sausage, produced again from whence they knew not.

“Verily, it is a sausage, O Master. Shall we eat of it, all of us, as a miracle of the loaves and sausage, overlooking the fact you keep cured meats within your overcoat?”

With this, the Master curtsied, as in the ways of his forebears, and said, “Whenever there is food and the leaving over thereof, and the yogurt tub that is clean, even should there be a whole cupboard under the sink brimming with yogurt tubs of yore, you shall bring the yogurt tub and the food together, and into the fridge for later.”

And the people did scratch their heads. “But, Master, when do we recycle the yogurt tub?”

He replied, “When the camel crosses the desert on stilts and those who eat in restaurants put away their smart phones, then shall you purge the overflowing tubs under the sink and into the recycling, like, twice a year, for sure.”

“But what of the little yogurt cups, Master,” they pleaded, “the individual servings that, when empty, are good for nothing, may we recycle these anon?

And the Master did cast his yogurt tub and sausage upon the ground in anger, saying, “Never shall you recycle the little yogurt cup, for its plastic is loathsome in my sight.”

The people did quake with fear and remained confused, saying, “But the grocery bag, though delicate as the nightingale’s teardrop, we may recycle. What gives?”

The Master did thus chill out and said, “As the wheat is separated from the chaff, so too are some services not available in your area.”

So it is written, somewhere on your municipal website. Amen.


A version of this piece first aired on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway.” You can listen to it here, forsooth. 


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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30 Responses to A reading from the Book of Recycling

  1. pinklightsabre says:

    OK that was good for a whole fistful of hearty chuckles here smug on my sofa with beer snorting Yea, he whoeth unemployed and beer-drinking on a ? (hold on) Tuesday whence the light breaketh upon the lands and the finger tips find their frosted flakes hither and thither oh lord. Good shit.

  2. Beautiful I love it
    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

  3. ksbeth says:

    and i am on a straight path to hell. on a piece of slippery plastic.

  4. And verily, the Master doth ascendeth into heaven. Amen. 🙂 I just knew God was in charge of this! 🙂

  5. Paul says:

    There you are Ross! Thank the Lord. I didst just openeth your post and unbeknownst to me my old XP was slow in loading so all I saw was a blank page under the title. And I didst immediately think: My Lord, Ross hath done it! He hath written the perfect post that didth so recycle itself! Nothing hath been left unrecycled but the title. It was with fear and awe that I didst think this as I dropped to the floor shaken that I was witnessing a true miracle done by the Lord through his Faithful Ross. And it was while I was so beholden that my computer didst beep and your post appeared from nowhere! As if once the power of the Lord was recognized, that your words could then be read.

    And yet that was not the end. For, in the post, the Lord had left a clear message that he had spoken. And the unrecyclable yogurt cup was gone! In its place was a large square with the words “yogurt cup” written within beside a small red “X”. The Lord hast shown his powers once again by reminding us that He alone could recycle yogurt cups. And it was with trembling hands that I didst read your post – it being obvious that the Lord Himself had touched said post and laid upon it His hands to leave us a sign forever, like the rainbow, as a reminder of His power.

    And still this was not the end of the miracles. I had almost completed this comment in WordPress, when it too disappeared! No doubt the Lord was so pleased with my acknowledgement of His powers that He chose to send a sign to me, His humble minion, through WordPress. And it was with a timorous hand that I didst rewrite this knowing full well the Lord had decreed it to be so in order to give me the opportunity to show my reverence for His word. And so I toiled in His name to produce nothing less than a Recycled Comment. And it was done, this time in Word so it could be copied and a record be left for eternity of the miracles of Recycling wrought in His name.

    Great post Ross! Too fun. I hope your Freedom of Speech isn’t challenged.

  6. Yea, verily, you cracketh me up.

  7. markbialczak says:

    To bin or not to bin, that is the question. Oh, you have answered, for sooth, Ross.

  8. franhunne4u says:

    Thankful that I am following the reformed path of recycling, here in Germany it is a kind of state religion: You shall give your trash to the state and all your trash – and not only the trash, but your cash, too!

  9. I have two bins next to my desk; a regular bin for standard trash and a blue bin for paper. One night, I was working late on a project and the janitors came in to empty the trash. It all went into the same trash barrel. True story.

    I’m glad you worked in “verily.” I love that word but if you try to use it in conversation you sound like a pretentious jerk. Don’t ask me how I know. Just trust me.

    Off topic: I think Funny Girl might be Hornby’s best. Highly enjoyable. That guy has really hit his stride.

  10. Elyse says:

    Though popping them may be a hoot. What a delightful way to restart my day after. Y dog punched me in the face accidentally on purpose. I feel better now.

  11. Alanna says:

    Ross, great article; as usual not only did it have merit but it made me laugh – Thx. And keep up the great articles in 2015. Love, Light, Health, Prosperity, Debauchery and lots of Pixie Dust to yourself and all those whom you love for 2015 and beyond:) !!!

  12. This is great. Right up there with the “Why Can’t I own a Canadian?”
    Saving this to re-read, reuse, and re-gift.

  13. Pingback: Simply all the outrage | Drinking Tips for Teens

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