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March 31, 2009

Parade of the Springtime A**holes.

Parade of the Springtime A**holes

By Sarah

Is it just me, or have the rest of you noticed that when winter thaws the a**holes rise to the surface?

Croci in snowTake this weekend. On Friday, I cleaned out my garage still messy from construction that was hastily finished as the snow fell in November. Then, like a good little recycling Vermont socially conscientious person, I filled up my car with bags of cans and bottles and tons of cardboard and went down to the dump where I was told that despite paying FORTY DOLLARS a month for curbside trash service to the same company that ran said dump, I now would have to pay to recycle.

So much for pitching in to reverse global warming.

"Rule changed January first," the dump guy said, smirking at my car loaded with smelly disgusting cardboard. "That'll be four bucks."

Now, if I'd been a true Vermonter, I would have burned the whole toxic pile in my backyard and thrown the bottles/old tires/bazillions of paint cans over the hill into the woods. There used to be a car down there Rusted car that has now become one with the soil though my sister in law who has a nice wooded lot in her "city" home downtown spent an entire summer digging up old license plates and assorted pieces of junk from her future garden. So I don't put much faith in that one-with-the-soil business.

Fortunately, I'm middle aged now so I tend not to believe what people tell me, even if they're wearing monogramed blue shirts. Removing the cardboard from my car, I threw it in the crusher and informed said dumpster maitre 'd I wouldn't be paying any fee. Emptied out the whole car in front of him as we argued.

I love being an adult.

Next up? The car wash where, having politely cleaned out my car to the side so as not to block the Ferrarivacuum, I then pulled my car up to the one remaining vacuum only to be cut off by a kid in his late teens driving a newly washed 1998 Honda Civic. He proceeded to wipe it down carefully with a lime green shammy cloth like it was a $200,000 Ferrari while I studied him, contemplating how someone so young could be so stupid. As if he spent his life in a dark room drinking 64 oz. Cokes while flipping through seven hundred channels in a cable-hooked daze. I smiled at him in an attempt to hint that maybe he should start vacuuming. He smiled back and wiped the chrome.

Twenty minutes of careful polishing and no vaccuuming later, a line had formed. He popped open the back of the truck and slowly, slowly rolled the shammy. Look, the Pope would have folded the Shroud of Turin with less care. That done, his friend showed up bass pounding. Oh, lucky day! . At which point, genius strolled over for a little chat.

I leaned out of my car. "Hey! Are you gonna use the vacuum?"

"Nuh uh." The thought, apparently, hadn't once crossed his mind. I'd wasted a half hour.

Back home, my neighbors - the ones in the rental where once the crime lab spent the entire day digging up a buried fetus hence its local nickname, The Fetus House - emerged to rev their engines and shout HillbilliesBooyah! I'm guesstimating two, three families in there. It's a fire trap. Thank god they have the RVs out front to hold the overflow.

Maybe it's because the winters are so tough here and we're stuck in our houses that when the snow begins to melt we emerge, clueless and blinking, dulled by woodsmoke and carbs, with no regard for our fellow human beings. But whatever it is, where I live people are jerks in the early spring.

Like bears.

How about you?


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I'm just depressed from reading the article in this morning's NYT about post-menopausal women's sex lives. So, I'll vote that either the New York Times Tuesday Science Section, or Mother Nature, is acting asshole-y.

I've noticed that everyone around here seems to have forgotten how to drive. Especially in parking lots. Has anyone else noticed there are more a**holes per square foot in a parking lot than anywhere else in the world?

Scientific studies have shown that The Jerk Factor rises in direct proportion to one's own intelligence....

My father used to say "I'm up to my arse in mental midgets."

Jags here know no season.

You know...I'm gonna stop reading the NYT. It's so depressing in general, except when they write about food or monkeys. Unless it's the Connecticut face-ripping-off monkey.

Poor guy. All he wanted was a ride...

"My father used to say "I'm up to my arse in mental midgets."

I call it "Dingbats on Parade."

Sarah, you're my hero. I don't think I'd have offloaded the cardboard right in front of the guy that way. At least not without anteing up. Four dollars is four dollars, though! Way to take a stand.

Another part of why everyone is testy this time of year--Tax Day is looming. We usually have to pay, despite pouring our life's blood into estimated taxes all year, but this year we get a whopping refund (which just means that we overpaid last year by a whopping amount, sigh). And I'm all done with our very complicated, 60-page return, have submitted it electronically for once, and the refund should be in our checking account by Friday. So for once I'm NOT in a pissy mood at the onset of spring.

Now we have to decide what kind of car to get, something we've been putting off for a year. That is probably the most difficult of all for us, making such a decision. Should we stick with Hondas (I'm on my seventh one), or should we venture a timid little toe into a different automaker? And do we dare buy from the Big Three right now? Hybrid or regular? Decisions, decisions. It's not easy for a Libra to make them, I'll tell you.

If your car is over 8 years old, there's a bill in Congress that would provide you with a $3-5,000 rebate (of taxpayer money)if you buy a fuel efficient car made in America.

Does not apply to Priuses, though my understanding is they're filling lots now anyway. No matter how you cut it, you're going to get a great deal...

All three of our cars are over eight years old, which is why we've been needing a new one. I think the rebate is of state sales tax, too, but you don't get it until next year's tax return, so the impact on the economy is slightly lessened.

All of my Hondas but one was made in America, right here in Ohio. I wonder if that makes a difference. I'll have to do a little research on that one.

The hard part is just going out and doing the test drives, talking to sales people, etc. It's just such a hassle, isn't it? I think I'd rather have dental work.

Okay - I wasn't going to ask, but what does the mighty NYT have to say about post-menopausal women and sex?

As if ANYONE has put ANY REAL RESEARCH MONEY into menopause?! Of course not, but lookey there - ANOTHER new generation of ED meds. What a SURPRISE!


Kathy, the story is called "A Dip in Sex Drive, Tied to Menopause."


There's also a story on a libido drug for women, but I was too depressed to read it. I am thinking that a libido drug for women would involve making their SO's do the laundry, dishes, helping with the kids' homework, etc. Comments?

Josh, you are so right. There is nothing sexier than your man washing the dishes.

Dear Hubby must not want sex that bad.

Sarah-I would have PAID to see this interaction at the dump. I'd also love to hear the recycle center employee telling his tale of the lovely lady who wouldn't pay....

I am moving back within the city limits where recycling is a MUST. Ann Arbor has won awards for their recycle programs. 94% of the residents recycle at the curb. So, after reading your comments I decided to look up the local rules, fees, etc. so that I could make my life and that of the dump guys easier. While we won't pay extra monthly for curbside recycling services (included in taxes) we can take items to several locations where we may pay a fee, depending on what the items are.

We have: Washtenaw County’s Home Toxics Reduction Center; the Drop Off Center (upscale for DUMP); the Reuse Center (anything from furniture to the kitchen sink is available for sale!). All information is readily available online or in a seasonal pamphlet called (really), “The Waste Watcher”.

I am now so confused about what can be recycled and where, what it costs per item to bring tires, oil and the various other stuff to the dump, er Drop Off Center I’ve decided to do my taxes instead. Seems simpler……

My Uncle John always said that the A**hole Quotient was high……I had not noticed any Spring related changes except the car sound systems get louder….I have a fantasy of shooting them out of cars… I mean the stereos, not the people! Maybe Nancie can show me how to do this?

Regarding the neighbors, do you have ordinances or zoning that addresses the number of A**holes, er, tenants in a property? If not, then maybe it can be one of Charlie’s campaign promises…………..

I don't think I would have the nerve to toss the boxes in front of him!

We don't recycle here. But if you want a few rusted out old cars, we're here for ya! But I love the story I read (somewhere) about how all the recycle stuff goes to the dump with all the other garbage.

Thanks for the depressing NYT story, Josh. Just what I needed to read this morning.

I live in California, so we don't really have enough of a winter to get a slump in assholish activity...especially among our politicians.

As for recycling, our service takes away both green waste (grass clippings, leaves, etc) and recyclables on alternate weeks. Of course, being an avid gardener, I never recycle green waste. Nope, it goes right in one of the compost piles.

I don't know about the locals, but here in DC the idiot tourists are certainly in full bloom. They're not jackasses the way some of the IMF/World Bank protesters are, but they are kind of stupid. It doesn't take much brain power to realize that stopping at the top or bottom of an escalator is not a bright idea (how hard can it be to take two steps to the side?). Around here, it seems to me obnoxious local behavior is more of a winter thing where the response to snow or frozen rain is to drive faster thus causing bigger accidents. Unless the Terrapins are doing well in the NCAA tournament, in which case the College Park area will experience jackass behavior.

More completely unrelated news...or does this have something to do with A**holes?:

FDA: Stop Eating Pistachios, Salmonella Feared

One of the funniest books I've ever seen was at my local independent bookstore. Called Porn for Women, with photos of men doing dishes, vacuuming, taking care of the baby, etc. That's so true! If hubby does housework it definitely counts as foreplay, in my book.


Here in Illinois the a**hole level has reached maximum velocity! It seems we churn out more and more each year. What is it with people. Do they forget how to drive, they've been doing it all winter. What is about spring and stupidity? We live in a small rural community, so driving in town is okay--except for the car washes--backed up and usually because a teenager in waxing and waning over their car, which usually is an old farm truck. I don't care how much washing you give that old Ford--it's still an old Ford with all the bumps and bruises. The highways around here will eat you alive. And maybe I just getting old...

Sarah-they did away with recycling here, I have to drive a half hour to get to a recycling center and then I have to pay to recycle because I don't live in that community. They can profit from this--and I still have to pay. It's the same community that if you live there, you can get your dog or cat spade or neutered for twenty bucks. It's totally weird.

Josh--you have depressed by day, now I have to worry about my sex drive--and my hub won't do dishes or laundry either.

Kathy--why don't they put more funding into menopausal research--maybe we can get a petition going.....

Sarah, once again, you rock. I too would've paid to see Sarah v. Recycler.

I was told, after I'd moved in here and accumulated 876 cardboard boxes, that I'd have to pay LOTS (I can't remember exactly, but it might have been over $100) to recycle them at, yes, the place I pay to have stuff picked up curbside, weekly. And I could only bring them in on certain days, at certain hours.

At which point Nancie the Gun Tart, who was here "on vacation" and I became felons and used the dumpster in the back alley of a local grocery store.

These stories remind me of why I love living in a city to which I pay taxes for municipal services. We don't pay a separate fee for garbage pick-up, and a couple of years ago, they gave us huge containers for recyclables, which they pick up once a week. We do not have to sort them. For big things, like couches and white goods, we can call for a special pick-up, no charge, and they will haul away whatever is not "recycled" overnight by the scavengers who drive by in pick-up trucks on special pick-up nights or people walking by who think they could use a nice old easy chair with worn upholstery and a missing leg.

Yeah! Go Nancie....She is such an excellent influence on you, Harley.

We have year round jerks here they just multiply in the spring.

I applaud you for your stand at the dump!

We have weekly recycling here and several drop off centers. The costs are included in our taxes.

BTW...I'm not sure throwing cardboard in the Dumpster constitutes a felony. Then again, I ain't no lawyer....

I guess I'm lucky. I'm in a suburb and don't have to pay for garbage pick-up or recycling. In fact, since we don't recycle at work, I took it upon myself to make a box for cans and bottles in our office kitchen, and I take them home to put out for our weekly pick-up. We do have to pay for large items to be picked up, however, like couches or mattresses. $10 each.

As far as A**holes, I'm afraid I can't tell the difference in seasons. They seem to be around all the time.

Brief hijack:
This won't take the a** out of holes, but if you watch past the first 60 seconds, you'll develop a whole new appreciation for human flexibility.

This doesn't seem to be seasonal, but there is a small cross-segment of humanity in traffic-ridden L.A. (including surrounding communities) that seems to find it essential/amusing to cross very busy streets at a casual stroll, sometimes slowing down to a crawl if it is clear that there are cars stacking up and waiting for them to complete their journey to the curb. Grrr.

Hey wait a minute, influence nothing, it was Harley’s idea to pull off the illegal dumping in the wee hours of the night. I was just the driver, but it’s not like I attempted to talk her out of it either.

Sure Lynn, I’ll teach you how to blast those annoying stereos.

And there is no season here for a**holes, it’s a 24/7 gig down here in the desert.

Wasn't Harley Danger Girl, or something like that?

It's not just the spring! Here in Australia it's autumn, and yesterday at the airport I was paying my parking fee - put the ticket in, put the cash in, ticket gets stamped and out it comes. Just after I fed in the money this IDIOT cames around me and feeds his ticket in as well! Having just paid for three days I thought, if he's just stuffed the machine up and it doesn't give me back my ticket I am going to .... Luckily it spat out his ticket onto the cement, then poked mine politely out. He said, "oh, what?" I said "that's my ticket, there yours there", pointing to the ground, and walked away. Only wish I'd stepped on it as I went.

I will never again complain about the $12.90 monthly charge I pay for curbside trash, recycling and cardboard box removal. Now if only arkansas could figure out how to recycle glass...

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