donate buttonThis is Chip’s third entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read the first, second, fourth, and fifth here. And support his dare with a gift to Grist.

Chip's garbageWhat on earth happened to Percy? He’s shot. GristPerversely, I’m now taking some pleasure in creating garbage. I’m not sure that was the point of this dare, but there you have it.

My trash bag has more stuff in it now, but not much more. The best thing in there is Percy.

Percy, you may recall, is Thomas the Tank Engine’s chum, the friendly green train. I’m not sure how he entered our house — maybe via a friend of my daughter’s — but this particular Percy is completely corroded. He looks like he’s been splashed with battery acid. We have a lot of old toys in our house — we usually get our toys secondhand from a local consignment place, and therefore have a high tolerance for imperfection. However, this Percy is just beyond repair; aside from the corrosion, his wheels no longer spin.

He’s heavy, too. Percy is weighing me down. Still, I don’t think my trash bag totals more than a couple of pounds. I’ll put the bag on a scale tonight and report back.

Other stuff in there: a plastic pasta bag, a plastic carrot bag that couldn’t be recycled or reused, some pipe-cleaner creatures that my kids made but are now garbage because the colorful fuzz has worn off, and some garbage from my lunch yesterday.

Let me explain: I usually bring lunch from home but occasionally indulge in a form of take-out, bringing along my own container (for salad, say) or cup. Yesterday, I somehow forgot to take along my cup. So my take-out burrito netted me not only some excess tinfoil and the thin wax paper on which it was served, but also a waxy cup (I was too parched to pass up a glass of water). Horrors!

In a way, the bag of garbage I’m carrying around is acting like a hairshirt punishing me for my sins — neglecting to pack a lunch, forgetting my cup. In a sick way, I like the reminder: See how much I suck? Look at my garbage! Must be my New England Puritan roots showing through.

In any case, people, you only have a couple more days to support this act of loserdom. In other words, please give a gift in honor of a dude touting around his trash for a week!