The New Tenants’ Compost Lesson

This is a slightly edited version of an email from Gordon to Kristen last fall (names changed, and a couple of hilarious characterizations removed…). We expanded our Charlottetown, PEI building last year and rent out several units, so Gordon’s now officially a landlord.

The new tenants moved in. It was comical. First the girl’s grandparents backed their van in next to the stairs. Fairly routine. They moved in furniture and I had a brief talk with them about taking care of sorting waste, garbage, recyclables and compost. I took them into the back yard and showed them the compost tumbler, and the grandfather and grandmother watched and understood…..I think. The young ’uns observed the lesson with glazed over cross eyes and were twitching to get away.

I asked the grandfather what the kids were studying. John, who wears a football jersey, is studying something related to recreation and physical something or other, and the girlfriend is studying “science – first year science”.

So they began to unload the van. All went well. I watched while they unloaded 3, maybe 4 huge bundles of paper towels. I reckon that there was a total of at least 36 large rolls of super absorbent paper towels that will now take up half of their living space. Maybe they have an investment in Scott Paper Company? What in the world are they planning to spill and then wipe up? They were assisted by what looked like the first string of Manchester United Soccer team who all agreed that the apartment was the best they have ever seen.

The grandfather’s van is now unloaded and the jock car is moved into place next to the stairs. Ready to unload John’s contribution. The trunk opens and the girlfriend shrieks, “There is something alive in here!” and shrinks away, waiting for rescue by the half-back football star who dismisses her hysteria and promptly removes the live toxic debris and deposits it in the green (compost) bin under the stairs. I advise him not to mix the plastic returnable bottles with the poison brew that has been fermenting in his car trunk since the end of football season. I give him a short lesson in composting and recycling, knowing that it is a futile effort…..but maybe he will learn if I repeat it often????

I really do think there is an opportunity to do a sit-com on a “back to college” theme. I could supply endless material for a 5 or 6 season run.

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