If it’s Tuesday morning, it must be time for trash-picking. Starting in the wee hours, a person who — to use a hypothetical — absorbs her morning coffee and warms up for her day by writing on her stupid new-media weblog while looking out the front window, could expect to see a series of trash-pickers examining the neighborhood’s garbage for items of value. They arrive in beat-up vans and Sanford & Son pickups, occasionally on a bicycle, and they seem to be in the market for just about anything. Old baby toys, furniture that hasn’t been rained on too much, metal — this is the currency of the new economy.
Every few days someone discovers that Onion video on how the death of print journalism will affect old loons who hoard newspapers, but I think I have the answer: Old loons will hoard broken Little Tikes plastic toys. They will gather them from my street.
In general, I’m not one of those people who frets over the steadily filling landfills and the sustainability of our plastics obsession, but two things make me nuts — bottled water and Little Tikes toddler-size picnic tables at the curb. Get a Brita pitcher and put the kiddie goods in your garage sale. They have the half-life of plutonium, and trash-pickers can’t get them all, people.
And if you’re looking for a fresh Onion video to send around, I suggest this one: Stouffer’s to include suicide prevention tips on single-serve microwavable meals.
Last night’s big story on the drug-news beat was this AP piece about Michael Jackson’s doctor, and his curious behavior during and after the singer’s death last year. He allegedly stopped CPR on the cooling corpse so he could start collecting all the drug vials lying around the room, a spectacular, cinematic image, in my opinion. If I were staging it, I’d set up one of those arm-sweeps-across-the-table-into-a-trash-bag shots. He is also said to have done this under the eyes of two of Jackson’s children, who cried until a nanny was summoned to hustle them away. (That’s the fate of wealthy children everywhere, isn’t it? Someone is always shooing them out of the room, another stock shot from the movie playbook.) I wonder what they thought all those times when they wandered in to see their father laid out like a corpse, catching up on his beauty sleep with the help of IV anesthetic. Poor little Paris at the funeral, sobbing, “Ever since I was born, my daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine and I just want to say I love him so much.” Here’s the thing, though: All daddies are the best daddy you could ever imagine to their 11-year-olds. It’s when the kids grow up a little more and realize there are daddies who don’t need medicine to get a little shuteye that the problems start. In that sense, MJ had excellent timing.
But that was nothing, the story continues:
The documents also detail an odd encounter with Murray after Jackson was declared dead at a nearby hospital. Murray insisted he needed to return to the mansion to get cream that Jackson had “so the world wouldn’t find out about it,” according to the statements, which provide no elaboration.
The cream? Hmm. The story goes on to describe the death drug, propofol, as “a milky white liquid,” and — did I just write “death drug?” What is it about some stories that just bring out the tabloid reporter in us all, completely unbidden? — but provides no further explanation of what the shameful cream might be. Fortunately, Gawker is on the case with uninformed speculation, i.e., the best kind.
(Another trash-picker just blew through. Sanford & Son pickup this time, miscellaneous metal in the back. Someday the entirety of Detroit will consist of recycled metal elsewhere.)
I took the time this morning to read this local reaction to the health-care bill this morning. First quote of the piece:
“We all have been passive for a very long time and haven’t taken part in government and now it’s time. I don’t like the health care bill. I don’t like government intrusion. And I don’t like my loss of freedom.”
Follow-up question: Do you drive a car? Does the government requirement that you carry auto insurance restrict your freedom? No? Thanks very much. Next!
The Thomas More Law Center — a national public interest law firm in Ann Arbor — also plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging the bill, said Richard Thompson, the firm’s president.
Note the liberal-media bias in describing that outfit, which describes itself as “Christianity’s answer to the ACLU.” As they’re known more for their high-profile losses — the Dover, Pa., intelligent-design case, Terry Schiavo — than their wins, I wish them their customary luck.
OK, then. The clock in the steeple draws close to 10, and soon the trash men — the real ones — will be here. Time to put ours out.