Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Garbage Day

Wednesday is garbage day, one of my favorite days of the week (which probably indicates I should 'get a life'....)

On Tuesday we put the garbage out in our full garbage cans and when we get up on Wednesday morning Cornwall looks like there was a shoot out at the OK Corral--empty garbage cans up and down the street, thrown on their sides, some in the road, strewn around like so many dead cowboys.

It's just amazing to me that we just put the garbage out every Tuesday (and the re-cycling stuff in our new garbage can sized re-cycle cans that say "Cheshire Recycles" on them and even has the town seal on the side--which isn't very interesting, just a couple of garlands and the top of the steeple of the Congregational Church...not, as seals go, very spectacular.)

Take, for example, the Great Seal of WV, one of which I have on the trunk of my car. Now there's a 'seal' to be proud of. It has two figures, one a coal miner with a pick over his shoulder and a cart of coal and a guy dressed in buckskin, like Davie Crockett, with a blunderbuss over his shoulder and some vegetables (rather than some dead animal) at his feet and their are eagle feathers and the date of WV's founding June 5, 1863 and the motto Montani semper liberi "Mountaineers are always free" for those who weren't paying attention in Latin class.

(Course, in the morning I'll go out and find I've made several factual mistakes about the Great Seal of West Virginia--but, hey, I'm trying to remember a lot more than a couple of garlands and a church steeple....)

Garbage day also reminds me of the three groups in our country that should be paid extremely well: garbage collectors, day care workers and aides in nursing homes. (I've most likely said this before in this space since I really think it about it a lot, but this time I've got numbers to share....)

Garbage Collectors should be paid at least as much as members of Congress. Nevermind that Garbage Collectors have an approval rating some 60 points higher than Congress, Congress makes messes (the fiscal cliff, the 'next' fiscal cliff, not renewing the Violence Against Women Act, not being sensible about the debt ceiling, I could go on and on...but I won't) while Garbage Collectors take away messes every Wednesday before I wake up.

Day Care Workers should be paid about as much as college basketball coaches. After all, Day Care workers are taking care of our most precious resource and college basketball coaches are hand-picking already accomplished athletes to play for them who are already alright since they are athletes and in college. Pre-school kids are waiting to be formed. So who deserves the big bucks--Geno and his ilk just trying to perfect almost finished products or those folks who every day work with toddlers and small children who need to learn what it means to be a good human being? Answer me that....

Nursing Home Aides should make as much as the President of AARP and the Deans of Medical Schools. Everyone (including the Congress I've already trashed) 'talks the talk' about caring for the elderly, but the President of AARP and Deans of Medical Schools don't actually 'walk the walk', the underpaid, overworked aides in nursing homes do. And their job--like garbage collectors and day care workers--involves cleaning up lots of messes.

People who clean up the messes of our children, our families, our parents and grandparents should be some of the best paid people in the society. I truly believe that. If everyone who had trash or small children or senile parents had to stop what they were doing day-to-day and handle those three issues, civilization as we know it would grind to a stop.

These are the people who handle the messes of our lives, shouldn't they make as much as a law firm partner or a bond trader? Or, for that matter, a pro basketball player. Nevermind Congress, we've already dealt with that.....

Hey, I'm a big labor union guy--can you imagine NHA-DCW-GC Union? They might have enough leverage over all of us to get those salaries....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.