Posted by Meg Soper, 18-04-2015

After months of being cooped inside, many Canadians embrace a trip to the dump as one of those classic springtime rituals. This year we seized upon the opportunity to rid ourselves of monumental amounts of obsolete electronics: computers, keyboards, cables, outdated cell phones, malfunctioning VCRs, a mass tangle of assorted cables and a 12 year old big screen TV that weighed about as much as a Smart car.

We had accumulated this stockpile over many years choosing to avoid definitive action to ‘clear the clutter’ knowing that these once cutting edge products had cost us many thousands of dollars.

So it was more than the usual trepidation that we found ourselves tossing these once highly valued implements of technology into the back of our van. Adding to the interest was the weather … torrential rains and strong gusty winds. But nothing was going to deter us from our steadfast commitment to move it out and move on.  

Soon we found ourselves at the dump, and thru the gate we went, breaking thru yet another psychological barrier in our clutter clearing quest. There we were confronted with the challenge of trying to decipher the class of our trash: was it household hazardous waste, mixed solid waste, electronics or appliances? We were informed our trusty art deco Iona blender (circa 1975) didn’t qualify for free disposal so we would have to come up with the $5 disposal fee. I for the life of me had a hard time understanding why a pint size blender would set you back $5 whereas they welcomed a 200 pound TV like their long lost aunt? I speculated on the origins of this rather bizarre policy, and figured that somewhere out there was a vindictive bureaucrat who sustained injury in an incident involving an appliance of this nature. 

Finally, after obtaining the requisite direction on where to dispose we found a home for our trash at stations # nine and twelve. I got a strange sense of satisfaction hearing the crash of archaic technology meeting its demise in the abyss of the dumpster. I felt somehow liberated and alive. I was clearing the clutter and it felt fabulous.

My glee was short lived however. Somehow I had overlooked that a detailed memo I had spent hours compiling lay on the floor of the van with the door wide open. A large gust ensued and before I could capture the document it took to the air and spun wildly away into the windy mayhem. I shrieked at my husband Andy “My PAPER!” He dutifully sprung into action, leaping over railings to give chase as the page spun and flapped haphazardly across the wet cement, toward dumpster #9. Thankfully he made the arrest and returned it to me, and I clutched it tightly, still hyperventilating from the thought of its loss. Andy looked at me with a rather puzzled expression and asked “Geez hon, what have you got written on that thing -the recipe for Coca Cola?”

Our mission was now complete. And as we made our way home, the irony of it all struck me. I mean really, how could a few ideas written on a single piece of paper be worth so much more than the once seemingly invaluable TVs, computers and gadgets that we had merrily tossed onto the scrap heap?

Yes, a trip to the dump… drama, suspense, damsel in distress, marital harmony and a quick lesson on what really matters.

About Meg Soper

Meg Soper is a leading motivational humorist for organizations in North America. Her unique perspective combines the insights and experiences of her last thirty years spent as a Registered Nurse, stand-up comedian, and ultimately a motivational speaker. Meg has co-authored two books and appeared on the CBC Television network, Women’s Television network, and Prime TV as well as on radio and at comedy festivals.