Monday, April 22, 2019

Recycling redemption one nickel at a time

0 clever quips
recycling bottle at redemption machine

My first job in the workforce focused on profiling and segregation.

I spent much of my 16th year in the dank underground of a supermarket, determining whether the bottles and cans returned for a nickel deposit really came from our store. Those that didn’t were pitched in the trash; those that did were separated by material and color then stacked or bagged for recycling.

Nothing felt physically good about this work. Certainly not the sticky soda residue that inevitably coated my skin and clothes or the stench of stale beer that remained in my nasal membranes for hours past quitting time. However, it was somewhat satisfying psychologically. I was literally on the  basement floor of a burgeoning environmental and financial movement. Our state's “bottle bill” had been in place only a few years at the time and already a difference could be seen. Fewer empties lined our state’s roadsides replaced by garbage-bag-toting fortune seekers.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Move Halloween? Not a Trick, But Not a Treat

1 clever quips
trick or treaters

Congratulations on surviving another Halloween. However, it may have been [“werewolf howling” sound effect]

Your LAST! [“Evil laughter” sound effect!]

On a WEEKNIGHT! [“Thousands of good-looking column readers scratching their heads” sound effect. If unavailable, substitute “crickets chirping.”]

A national movement is afoot to move trick-or-treating from the last day of October – that’s the 31st every year – to the last Saturday of the month – that’s the fourth or fifth one, depending on El Nino, La Nina and immigration laws.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My Summer Vacation at the Ballpark

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I usually start making my summer vacation plans around late January. This usually coincides with the first waves of cabin fever enveloping me along with the fourth layer of thermal clothing I've wriggled into to avoid hypothermia in my perpetually chilly New England colonial home.

While some would scour the internet travel sites in search of the best beaches in the tropics or perhaps a deal on a refreshing lakeside cottage in the woods, I click elsewhere.

I pore over the schedules for all the professional baseball teams within a 90-minute drive of my home. My goal: finding any and all weekday home games.


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

God Save Me and My 'Old Man Drinks'

1 clever quips

whiskey cocktail old fashioned manhattan

Blame it on Mad Men, this taste that I’ve acquired for Manhattans and old fashioneds made with the rye whiskeys Bogart called for by the shot.

Maybe it was a re-reading of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye by the oceanside a few years ago that turned my taste buds on to the pale green summer goddess of goodness that is the gimlet.

Maybe I simply had had my fill with flat, dull tonics bartenders had neutered my Tanqueray with for too many years.

Regardless, it’s time to admit, with pride not shame, that I’m imbiber of what my wife teasingly calls “Old Man Drinks.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Environmentalists Grasp at the Last Straw

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With the Earth having just survived to see another Earth Day (it was Sunday, you heathen), I bring you on its behalf the following public service announcement: Straws suck.

In particular, non-biodegradable, disposable plastic ones.

Be it bendy or rigid, striped or solid, in your drink or up your nose (you ol’ cocaine cowboy, how’d you survive and disco die?), the humble single-use straw is the latest low-hanging fruit the environmentally conscientious are trying to harvest.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Best Baseball Opening Day Ever (Minus the Actual Baseball)

2 clever quips
Mets legend Ed Charles, right, assists the author is showing off his 1969 World Series ring.
Spring is here again in the Northeast! It’s time to put away your warm winter clothes and dig out your equally warm but beer-proof Opening Day of Baseball Season clothes!
I’ll be doing that soon in preparation for today's New York Mets home opener, a near-annual ritual for me that includes the near-annual threat of the day being the coldest and/or wettest ever recorded for that date in history.
Maybe that’s why when I look back on all the Opening Days I’ve attended (22 unless my math fails me which it often does because ... writer), one of the most memorable was one where the game wasn’t even being played at the field.

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