There is no surer sign that we are indeed in the end times than seeing how my neighbours approach recycling. Living in a condo, you cannot help but see these things. Those of you who live in detached homes would have to wander your neighbourhood, and most likely would not find anything amiss, since it would be plain for all to see who could and could not tell the difference between glass, plastic, paper, cardboard… and everything else. In the anonymity of a strata, though, people can, and do, take a devil-may-care approach to such things. After all, who will know who it was that put a plastic bag full of light bulbs or broken wine glasses in the mixed paper bin? Or styrofoam egg cartons in the glass only?
Of course, recycling is a sham, so I probably shouldn’t get so worked up about it. I’m fairly certain that the only reason Metro insists that materials be separated is that they don’t want to add cardboard to that state-sized island of plastic containers floating in the Pacific Ocean.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not all that fussed if this really is the end. There are far too many people doing their utmost to make life a misery, if not for their fellow humans, then for the other species on the planet. I won’t be sad to see lion poachers, shark finners and whalers all perish, ideally in a manner appropriate to the harm they’ve caused. Same goes for the owners of coal mines, the makers of nuclear weapons, and politicians who hem and haw about how much really clean air might hurt the economy. And of course, I’m looking forward to the Rapture.
A few years ago, there was a whacked out preacher somewhere who proclaimed not only that the end was nigh, but that he’d calculated it to the minute. The rapture, he assured the media, would soon whisk all the righteous home to the Almighty. Those of us who would be left behind would have to deal with the Antichrist.
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m an atheist, and so I have no expectation of being whisked anywhere, least of all to the Almighty. I did consider, though, putting on my best suit and going door to door in my neighbourhood to determine who might soon be departing.
‘Have you been saved?’ I would ask. If they answered yes, I would ask them if they’d mind signing over any worldly belongings they wouldn’t be needing, as of the given date. Alas, I procrastinated, the date passed, the preacher, who also was not whisked anywhere, determined he had miscalculated. (Forgot to carry a 2 or something, I suppose.) It was an opportunity lost.
But perhaps my neighbours are telling me it’s not too late. Perhaps, with their coded message of recycled apocalypse, it is time.
Then again, maybe they’re just idiots.