I drink a lot of pop - soda for those of you who live in “that” part of the country. People tell me I should drink water instead, that it’s more healthy. Okay, but the way I like my water is carbonated, with sugar, flavoring, and caffeine. My entire family feels the same way and so, we drink a lot of pop.
As a result, we end up with a huge pile of cans and bottles. For those of you who may not know, in the state I live, there is a deposit on most beverage containers. We pay five cents at the time of purchase and then receive a refund when we return the bottles and cans to the store. In the old days, the cans could be bagged, taken to the store and a bottle boy would count them. It was pretty quick and efficient - and everyone except the bottle boy stayed clean too!
But these days, thanks to everyone always trying to make things “better,” there are machines to count the returns. The cans and bottles have to be hand-placed in the machine, one at a time, in order to be counted. It’s a pain, very time-consuming, and kind of gross. Some people don’t bother, but it’s my money and at five cents a can... Well, sometimes that adds up to a lot of cash. Remember, we drink a lot of pop.
From the time my son was three, returning the cans has been a job he and I did together. (For some reason, my wife and daughters didn’t see much fun in it). Every month or so, we’d load up the pickup and go to the store. He got the money, I just got dirty.
But then last summer, my son moved out on his own. I didn’t really feel too motivated about taking the cans in, and they piled up on the backyard deck for several months. This past weekend, I finally decided it was time. (Really, I just needed my deck back).
I picked the right time for the job. One of my daughters was visiting and she and my wife decided to go along to help. I’m glad they did, I’d probably still be at the store feeding the machine. Well, not quite, but even with their help, it took over an hour at the store.
An hour! For three people! An hour of tearing open plastic bags full of dirty, smelly, slimy, disgusting cans and bottles. That’s a LOT of cans and bottles! I went home and took a shower. And then it hit me; maybe I should drink more water!