We had been meaning to return our empties for almost two weeks, but we procrastinated.
(And when I say we procrastinated I really mean that I had been nagging Steve to get it done for two weeks and he kept making excuses not to do it. )
And then it was the long weekend, and "we" didn't feel like doing it on Sunday. So on Monday, I hauled up all those empty bottles and with Steve's reluctant help I loaded them up in my jeep and we headed to the bottle depot.
Only when we got to the bottle depot, it was closed. Of course. It was a statutory holiday. Well not to worry, there is another bottle depot a few miles down the road. We'd just go to that one. Except that one was closed as well.
So I was faced with making a decision.
A. Go home and unload the dirty, smelly empty bottles back into my house?
B. Leave the bottles in the jeep until the next time I have spare time to return bottles and in the meantime drive to and from work looking like I am an alcoholic with many cases of empty beer in plain view for the world to see?
C. Go home and phone every bottle depot in the lower mainland until I find one that is open?
I chose option C.
It took about 10 phone calls before I finally found a depot that was open, but I found one. And so we climbed back in the jeep and headed downtown Vancouver.
Now, I ask you... When you see those rubbies wandering around the streets with their stolen shopping carts, picking up empty bottles (and anything else that may appear to be of value), do you ever wonder where they go?
Well I am now able to tell you where they go. They go to that very same bottle depot that we went to on the holiday Monday.
We pulled up and parked and Steve got right to work taking a load of bottles inside the depot. I got out of the jeep and immediately smelled pot smoke. Steve quickly came back out of the depot with the strangest look on his face.
He said, "Tarable, you need to stay close to the jeep or close to me."
I laughed. Steve is so sensitive. It can't be that bad.
It was that bad. It was worse than that bad.
The place was a crawling with the homeless, the drug addicted, the toothless, the filthy, the desperate, the wayward. Not to mention the flies, wasps, hornets, mosquitos and flees. And a stench.
By the time Steve brought our second load of bottles in, Joe Toothless was already rummaging through our bottles. When Steve asked him what he was looking for, he asked suprised and said, "Oh are these yours?" Who knows how many bottles he probably scammed when we weren't looking. He was pro.
So then we finally had all our bottles on the counter and sorted. I stood and prayed for it to be over soon. I got that itchy, crawly feeling and started scratching. I had a death grip on my purse and a fear for my jeep oustide.
It was while we were waiting for out bottles to be counted up when Steve grabbed a hold of my wrist. I looked at him and his jaw was hanging open, his eyes wide with horror. I turned to see what he was looking at just as Joe Toothless was polishing off the dregs of an almost empty bottle of red wine - which it seems he just pulled out of a pile of someone else's empties....
I will never be the same.
Needless to say that when this eperience was over I went home and scrubbed my body in the shower. With bleach.