The Soupster woke up in a foul mood. Not only was it a drizzly day but he was spending it with his next-door neighbor’s computerized grandson, Johnny, a 4th grader who walked around with wires coming out of his ears.
The first sign of danger was finding Johnny going through the garbage can with little piles here and there.
“Mr. Soupster, where do you put your aluminum? This pile is #1 plastic and this pile is #2. Where are your recycling containers?”
“#1 & #2? There’s a difference? Who recycles plastic anyway? What’s the point?”
“But, Mr. Soupster, plastic is made out of oil! The city sells it to people who make it into blankets and socks and everything. Don’t you understand anything about recycling?”
The Soupster groaned, definitely not his day—socks made out of milk cartons?
He was quiet for a moment, regrouping his thoughts.
“Johnny, don’t bother me about recycling. You don’t really know anything about recycling. I know about recycling. Didn’t my mother make me wash and dry the used aluminum foil and fold it to use again? Could I ever get the used plastic bags can full enough to meet her standards? Didn’t I have to be so careful with the wax paper around my sandwiches that it could be reused all week? Didn’t my mother hang our clothes to dry on a clothes line in the sun or inside on rainy days?”
“But, Mr. Soupster…uh, sir…”
The Soupster glared, “Don’t interrupt me, I’m just getting started.”
“We didn’t throw away our shoes – Dad just took them to the shoemaker to be repaired. Don’t suppose you have ever even heard of shoe polish. He pushed his lawn mower! He picked up pennies from the street. Have you ever picked up a penny?
The Soupster paused for breath and Johnny jumped right in.
“Wow, sir, you have a lot of good ideas. Let’s make a clothes line for you right now! We can go from this tree to the side of your house. Maybe another one inside, from the dining room wall to the stairs for rainy days.’
The Soupster’s eyes rolled to think of actually hanging up laundry. On the other hand, he thought of the McGrowls next door looking at his long underwear hanging in front of their
windows and a devious smile appeared on his face.
“Let’s get started on that clothes line right now, Johnny. We’re going to make this world a better place!
– Submitted by Eddie Rau
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