Friday, September 4, 2009
One of my jobs while growing up on the farm was to clean up the quarter-mile stretch of roadside adjacent to our vineyard — bottles, cans, papers, pieces of broken boxes and pallets, and various other items too disgusting to describe here. During the daylight hours it was a fairly busy road. But at night, like the smaller roads that crossed it, it was used by many for slow drives with a bottle and friends of the opposite sex. The fact that it was relatively close to town also made it a handy place to ditch the evidence outside city limits, and before the police pulled you over to help alleviate their boredom on a slow summer night. Other than the sheer volume of trash, this meant that the cans and bottles weren’t always empty. There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as the smell of a sunbaked, half-full can of Falstaff or Lucky Lager — unless it’s the sour smell of a bottle of Thunderbird, an exquisite wine and old-time favorite of thrifty connoisseurs. I don’t know why, but even though I knew what to expect, I just had to unscrew the lids.
In the Forum: drama on a deadline.