Last Rites for Megabytes

Last Saturday was electronic recycling day for many residents, a solemn occasion where we bid goodbye to the many devices and gadgets forced to leave the closets of Somers to make room for newer devices and gadgets. For $5, a carload hundreds of people went to the Somers Intermediate School and dropped off what was either the worthless clutter around their house, or valuable artifacts that continue to define the history of their lives, depending on if you were a husband or wife. The proceeds went to benefit the Somers PTA.

My friend Margaret from the PTA council was directing traffic and answering questions. The purpose of the event was to safely dispose of metal and electronic equipment, but people showed up with all sorts of things that haven’t worked in years—one guy showed up with his nephew, for instance.

Michael was there from City Carting, which donated four huge container dumpsters to cart away all the e-crap. I took a look inside one of them and it looked like my office, only a little bit tidier. There sat all these outdated electronics and computer peripherals that no longer talk to each other because the drivers are no longer supported by any company that still exists.

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There were a lot of items that were broken or damaged. I would estimate that 90 percent of the televisions in the dumpster were destroyed by people throwing the remote control at them during a Giants game when Eli Manning, WELL within field goal range, saw fit to throw an interception in a place where there wasn’t a receiver within 500 MILES.

There was both a humidifier and a dehumidifier that obviously did not get along together in life, now bound forever in eternity. You used to keep a radio or TV in your house pretty much forever, and if it broke, you brought it somewhere to get it fixed. You normally wouldn’t consider taking it to the PTA. It was hard to believe that some of the stuff that was recycled ever had a cycle in the first place.

But Michael said that most of the items people dropped off still worked perfectly well. It’s just that everyone wants the newest gizmo with the most features. Everything now has all the bells and whistles, and for that reason nobody remembers anymore what a bell or whistle was. “See this? It’s the best cellphone I ever had! I never lost it once since it’s the size of a cinderblock!”

My wife wanted to get rid of the washing machine. There’s nothing wrong with it but she hates doing laundry. “Why don’t we get rid of the iron while we’re at it?” I asked. “I have to take extra vitamins because of the iron deficiency in my clothes.” “What’s an iron?” She asked. “And when are you going to get rid of that thing in the garage?” “What thing?” I asked. “EVERYTHING in there!” She yelled.

I wish they had recycling events when I was trying to get rid of my Datsun B-210 back in the day. I couldn’t give the thing away; junkyards didn’t even want it. The brakes didn’t work very well but the floor was rusted out so you could stop the car by dragging your feet along the ground Fred Flintstone-style if you needed to. I would have driven it off a cliff if I could find one, but there is not actually a mountain in Mount Kisco. For five bucks a carload I could have just driven it up to the school parking lot and run all the way home before anybody from the PTA could catch me.

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The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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