An Interruption at TGB - Day 1
An Interruption at Time Goes By – Day 3

An Interruption at TGB – Day 2

category_bug_journal2.gif An explanation for this blog interruption can be found in yesterday's post.

First, I may need to take back my statement yesterday that the Eee pc is too hard to work on full time. Out of frustration with two-finger typing, I've gotten pretty good at touch-typing on it. Although I doubt I'll ever match the speed I have on a full-size keyboard, with some practice it's not so difficult. (For anyone who cares, the trick seems to be an extra light touch.)

Today's golden oldie dates from mid-2006, during my final days in New York City as I finished preparing to move to Maine. Actually, Crabby Old Lady wrote it. I hadn't read the story since it was published and found myself laughing out loud this time. I like Crabby a lot when she's in full-tilt, righteous boogie against the establishment.

I want to make clear before you read this that the title notwithstanding, I miss New York City and particularly my Greenwich Village neighborhood around Bedford Street every day. I'm not miserable in my new life, but New York will always feel like my real home.

However, on that particular day toward the end May 2006, maybe it was serendipity that a petty bureaucrat, in his mean-spirited officiousness, eased my overwhelming sadness at being forced to leave.

If Crabby Old Lady had any doubts left about her decision to leave New York City (not that she had a choice), they are gone.

Friday is the night on which recycling can be placed at the curb on Crabby’s block for pickup the following morning. The rules are complex. Paper in its own transparent bag; plastic, glass and metal go together in another. Certain kinds of plastic are not recyclable although which ones and how to tell the difference among them has long been a secret of the New York Sanitation Department.

Milk and juice cartons, which appear to Crabby to be plastic-coated paper, are included with the plastic, glass and metal, but not deli containers which contain no paper. Other trash is bagged together and cardboard boxes are to be broken down and tied or taped together. No one is ever certain they’ve done it all correctly and there are hefty fines for getting it wrong.

While packing all last week and ridding herself of old items she no longer needs, Crabby carefully separated her trash into their proper bags – or so she thought – and stacked them in a corner to await Friday evening. There were many bags, 15 or 20 of them, in addition to a small sofa, a couple of small tables, unmatched dinner plates she no longer wants and other assorted trash plus regular kitchen garbage.

Come Saturday morning, Crabby was off early to purchase various cleaning supplies, bathroom tissue, extra cat food and other necessities she’ll want immediately upon arrival in Maine (thank you Tabor of One Day at a Time for the reminder). She overbought in general, and how was Crabby to know how much laundry soap weighs – she’s dropped off her washing at the local laundromat for nearly 40 years.

As she trudged up her block lugging what felt as heavy and unwieldy as three nine-year-old boys, she spied a sanitation cop writing a ticket for some of the recycling bags still at the curb. At first, Crabby tried to be jokey about it: “Aw, come on,” she said with a grin. “Gimme a break. These are my last three days here. Can't you let it slide just once for old times' sake?”

The officer didn’t look up, didn’t smile. Intent on his grubby, little task, he kept writing in his book pad as he officiously informed Crabby that she had “broken the law. You can’t mix ceramic plates with glass and plastic".

“How was I to know that,” said Crabby. “I never threw out dishes before.”

“It’s the law,” said the nasty twit as he thrust the ticket toward her. Crabby, whose hands were obviously full of shopping bags, ignored it as she stalked off toward her door. “You are required to take the ticket,” he called after her.

Full-bore New York street attitude kicked in as Crabby stuck her key in the lock. “Stuff it where the sun don’t shine,” she spit at him over her shoulder and slammed the door behind her.

For a literal lifetime – since she was a little girl in Portland, Oregon - Crabby Old Lady has carried on a love affair with New York City. Moving here in 1969, was a long-time dream come true. Through all the inconveniences, expense, five home robberies and one mugging, her affection for the city never faltered. And now, an odious, little garbage Nazi has ruined Crabby's final days in her beloved Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Thanks, New York City, for such a pleasant send-off. Goodbye and good riddance.


Signature COL venting, and I learned a sensational new rant... "Stuff it, etc." Good to leave on a sour note lasting long enough to fuel those first tough pushes forward to eventual light.

The New York Times today has an article and interactive map about satisfaction with the city that's fun to play with.

Wonderful...and, you probably know,here in the Big Apple rules k change at a whiplash pace. Different now, equally confusing, However, budget woes have cut the garbage police (and others) from important tasks like these.

I missed the era you must have experienced when the City would go through garbage left in street corner trash baskets. Find a name on an envelope, send a fine!

Too many lawyers here in search of another lucrative case--parking ticket, garbage summons. Meanwhile the people-in-charge totally missed Bernie, the worldwide scammer.

Were you serious about FIVE home robberies? Is that normal for Greenwich Village?
I've enjoyed every visit I have ever had to NYC but could never imagine actually living where one must guard their personal space 24/7. Sounds exhausting!

You are a true "Big Apple" loyalist. I would not have been able to accept the home robberies and certainly not the mugging.

I give you credit for endurance and perseverance, but honestly wonder at your sanity.

The added petty recycling police must have at least added some comic relief.

Love the NYC stories.

Did the garbage Nazi every catch up with you to give you the ticket?

I loved your retort. There is no one as odious as a petty person with a little power. It must have been fun to fail to give in to his self importance.


The next time I left the apartment, I found the ticket affixed to my door. I stuffed it in another place where the sun don't shine - in the trash.


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