Compost Mentis sent in this contribution:

A hole in the ground

We were sitting peacefully on Neighbour’s stoep, feet up, beer in hand, surveying the horizon. “I get so fed-up, driving out from here,” I said conversationally, “seeing the cans, bottles and plastic bags littering the roadside. Barbarians.” The Wife agreed: “No culture. No ‘feel’ for the environment. Can’t they get rid of rubbish in a responsible way?”

“How do you get rid of your rubbish?” asked Neighbour, handing me the chips. “Oh, we bury it,” I said. “A nice deep hole, so the dogs can’t get into it, or rather, out of it, once they’re in! And then we burn regularly. Makes a big stink, though, especially the plastic.”

“What about bottles and broken glass?” queried Neighbour. “Same place,” I said. “Eventually it’s all covered up. Maybe one day, after a few centuries, a bulldozer will unearth the gemors and then the archaeologists can have a grand time reconstructing our civilisation!”

“Glass stays sharp for centuries,” remarked Neighbour. “I remember nearly crippling myself on bottle shards which someone had smashed on a rock in the veld.”

“S’true,’ I said, gazing at the bottle in my hand. Quite lethal, actually. “What do you do with your rubbish? “Copy the Australians,” he said. “I worked there for a year. They have different rubbish bins for glass, paper, plastic, tins and so on, and everything is sorted into those.”

“No thanks,” I said. “Sounds too much like graft.” “I’ll do it,” added The Wife suddenly, catching me off guard. I could smell a domestic revolution coming. “What do you do once you’ve sorted it?” she wanted to know from Neighbour. He waved a hand over the lush garden. “The peels and stuff go into the compost, the glass we take to those big bottle banks, the plastic and tin and paper go to a depot like Remade.”

I was being outmanoeuvred here, I could sense. But I couldn’t simply capitulate, my macho image would suffer. I was prepared to support The Wife, however, as long as she did the sorting, that is. And carting away, of course.

Well, that was easy, wasn’t it? I could continue enjoying my beer and my gripe about the barbarians out there, messing up my countryside. What’s wrong with a big hole in the ground anyway…well…hmmm?

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