In this case, 'big government' doesn't come much bigger: it's the city council and their freedom-crushing regulations about the disposal of certain types of household waste. Oh yes, we're talking about major infringements upon my god-given rights to poison the earth. I feel a revolution coming on (although it may just be the virus currently waging a minor war on my delicate, 275lb frame); my musket is in fine fettle, and my powder is dry *shoots revolvers into the air once again*.
Actually, I am of course exaggerating just a smidgen (if you're unfamiliar with Smidgens, they are small furry relatives of the European hedgehog which live only in the British Isles, have three legs - just one at the back - and subsist entirely upon a diet of discarded spaghetti... evolutionary biologists find them rather fascinating) - my issue is with the application of the rules. Today. Upon me. To my discomfort and inconvenience. *Shoots guns upwards again, etc.*
Already dealing with a pesky bout of virus-driven aches, pains and occasional nausea, I had put myself to the trouble of shovelling a reasonably large amount of stucco (just cement, really) into the back of my small pickup truck. For the record, and just in case you were wondering, this amount was just enough to be officially classified as 'A Shitload'. As you might imagine, in the process of the aforementioned shovelling, I had also gone to the trouble of making a great many groaning noises, and pulled a significant number of displeased, if not downright fucked-off faces. In other words, I had a lot of emotional investment in this particular shitload, but I had nevertheless prepared myself for our imminent parting at the municipal dump. Nobody knows what I go through on a daily basis...
Off I trundled to the municipal dump, a surprisingly picturesque site (no, really) nestled in the nearby mountains, and rather eccentrically situated above one of our local lakes which doubles as a reservoir for a small nearby community (and yes, it has leaked noxious stuff into the reservoir before now...). Pulling up to the booth at the weighbridge, I summoned by most winning smile - under the circumstances, more of a deaths-head snarl - and declared my wares to the winsome wench in the too-tight shirt. "Some broken stucco and a broken-up kitchen cabinet!" I said, trying to sound happy about it.
She stared at me just long enough for dread to begin creeping upwards from my feet. "Oh." she said, and pursed her lips, which gave me an interesting three-dimensional view of the cold sore below her nose. "We actuallyyyyy-ah don't accept Stucco any more?" she told/asked me. I maintained my state of regal calm. "You're kidding me." I said, causing frost to begin forming across her spectacle lenses. "Oh no!" she shook her head emphatically. :"We rilly don't-ah." "So what do I do with it?" I asked in a friendly tone which suggested her imminent death. Oblivious to my homicidal tendencies, she shifted her weight and looked off into the middle distance to watch a bear and some crows fighting over the carcass of her predecessor.
"Wull..." she began, "You could maybe put it into asbestos bags, then like double bag it, then like bring it back here?" "And you'll accept it then?" "Oh yah, for sure!" "Why isn't this mentioned on the website for the dump?" "Oh wull...." she waved a languid hand dismissively, stepping dangerously close to my zone of total destruction: "I don't, like, have anything to do with that...hey, why don't you drop off the other garbage while yer here?" I casually started my chainsaw. "because..." I gritted my teeth, "It's UNDER the stucco." Consoling myself with imagining a large explosive charge going off underneath her, I drove away, seething and coughing.
An hour later, having purchased the 'asbestos bags' and clad in a dust mask, industrial gloves and my scruffiest clothes (well, almost), I began the process of shovelling the shitload OUT of my truck and into the bags. I laughed, sang and told myself jokes to keep my spirits up...no, no, sorry - that was in an alternate and almost completely parallel universe...what actually happened was that I coughed a lot, swore even more (to the surprise of the neighbour's children) and moved about four hundred pounds of stuff (nothing to do with asbestos, by the way: really just cement) around in bags. I had checked the website again: no mention of stucco being verboten. Someone would pay, one day.
Having subsequently been ministered to by my lovely lady (she handed food and a drink to me at the end of a very long pole and from behind a ballistic shield), she accompanied me on the return visit to the landfill site. There, once again, was a plaid shirt slightly over-filled by the wench. I pulled up to the window once more. The young woman stepped back ever-so-slightly as she recognized me. "You remember that stucco of mine?" I said (well, sort of yelled, apparently). She nodded, dislodging her spectacles a little. "Well!" I began, in a tone which I thought was friendly, but which, as my wife later told me, sounded exactly like "You can shove it up your arse!" I said "It's all in bags now! Where do I put it?"
A little shakily, she told me where I had to go, and retreated to the far side of her little booth. Over we went to a small hut filled with clipboards and thermos flasks, where a cheerful middle-aged fellow in a hard hat and reflective vest (they do love their reflective vests in Canada) told me that everything with asbestos in it had to be disposed of a certain way. I told him that this refuse was cement. Clearly nonplussed by this unwarranted dissent, he repeated himself, and for good measure told me a little of his life story. Not to be outdone, I repeated MYself, and to boot told what an absolute pisser it is having to wear reading glasses, and that my prescription eye-wear is almost completely useless. That taught him a lesson he'll never forget.
Having signed his forms to acknowledge that I knew that I was fatally poisoning my environment and should therefore be thoroughly ashamed of myself, I toddled off to place the bags of shit (non-asbestos cement) in a small container, and thence to an enormous mountain of broken wood, where the kitchen cupboard breathed its last (with the help of my good lady: she wasn't there for decoration). The final torment was paying for the privilege of making two fucking trips to the dump and lugging four hundred pounds of shit around multiple times, to the point where my already unhealthy shoulder now hates me. Altogether this one task, including fuel costs, buying special bags and the fee for dropping my bags into a container, cost me almost $100. A hundred bucks! Jesus Christ in a hot dog bun!
And now, I've come to the end of my story, and to put the absolute fucking cherry on it, I can't remember what my initial point was...it was something to do with inaccurate websites and tight shirts...
But still: young people, eh?