Last week, I was working for a friend being a handyman in the state of confusion known as California. The work has been clearing a house for a new tenant. In a way, the task is a metaphor of life – a good sorting of feelings and intent to allow me to make some key choices into the future. Part of the mass phase before the flow gets started.
So part of the collection was several years of recycling. There were amber, green and clear bottles, aluminum, tin and steel cans, beer bottles, many plastics. All were sorted, emptied cleaned out and package to take to the recycling station in Etna. The station is open two afternoons a week, but not in bad weather. We called ahead before taking the 8 mile drive to unload.
Loaded to the gills, the recycling took all the space we had available. We got there and faced an empty lot with one government worker. She promptly informed me that we could only turn in $50 dollars worth of material, because the vehicle had Oregon plates. It’s the law, she said.
I thought, gee, we are pretty close. I unloaded bags and got set to flip them onto a scale. We did not tare the load, strange when payout is involved. But this is government. The sum total came out to $56 dollars. We were informed that the site could accept none of our recycling because we exceeded the limit. ‘It’s the law’.
Okay, then I’ll take the $50 and get scammed out of the $6 and still get the task accomplished, with a little less return for the effort. No, I didn’t understand, ‘it’s the law’, They cannot take any of it. I cannot take back a few cans, I cannot let them have some. I was over the limit and no service was allowed. Since the employee saw the recycling physically, we would have to take it away and come back another day. ‘It’s the law’.
My friend dialed the phone number of the bureaucracy in charge. We had taken time and expense to get there and had other things for the taken space. She got the reply “It’s the law, we cannot let you do that.” The fact that my friend has a California drivers license and proof of local residency was not relevant. Apparently, since we had Oregon plates, we were guilty of defrauding the great state of California by moving garbage over a state line and hence could not make gains off our scam. The honest employees were protecting things because ‘It’s the law’.
I did not see any reason, so I did not resist. If I suggested the employee complain, then she might compromise her no work public paycheck. If she used reason, she showed too much initiative. I shook my head, had a cup of coffee and began thinking of who I knew that had a pick-up with california plates to help me finish the task. No luck, the recycles are back in the shed.
I rented the movie Idiocracy, with Owen Wilson. It’s got electrolytes. The only thing wrong with the premise of the movie is the 500 years of time travel into the future – we are there now.
Namaste’ … doc