Inertia + Good Intentions = Potential Embarassment

Have I mentioned that I love my son’s school?


(That’s rhetorical.  I most certainly have mentioned it.  A lot.  Don’t believe me?  Read the archives.  Too lazy?  Then take my word for it and keep reading, smart-mouth.)


I love that school.


They’re big on character.  Academics are important, but so is raising decent little people.  This school is trying to raise Future Community Members.


People who do the right thing.  Who work hard. 


Who care about their environment.


I think that’s wonderful.  Because I’ll level with you;  I’m not the most “green” chick you’ll ever meet.


I’ve thrown aluminum cans in the trash without a pang of guilt.  I routinely feed my kids non-organic food.  And I mourn the movement away from a simpler time, when Round-Up was a good idea.


I’m trying to get better.  I AM getting better.  And that is thanks in no small part to the efforts of the school, via my son.


They’re even trying to make things easier on dinosaurs like me.  They’ll take batteries.  Our city has a kick-ass recycling program that makes it incredibly easy; no sorting, everything recyclable goes into a blue bag, right beside the regular garbage on trash day.  But batteries can’t go in the Blue Bag.  They don’t belong in the landfill, either.  So the school collects these batteries, and takes them to the appropriate eco-station, to be handled in whatever way dead batteries are handled.




Also cool is the fact that they want to recognize kids for their efforts.  When a student brings in something to be recycled, they are invited to write their name in a log book, so that their “Act of Green” can be counted.


And therein lies the…ahem…rub.


Because all last year, I saved our dead batteries.  And I really, really intended to take them into the school.  But one battery became 10, and all of a sudden:




Now, I know, and you know, those are all from toys.  And we both know that’s not a euphemism for anything.


But I don’t know if I can go into that school again, and be expected to make any kind of eye contact with the teachers, if The Boy proudly recycles a metric butt-load of used D batteries. 


That his mom gave him.


34 responses to “Inertia + Good Intentions = Potential Embarassment

  1. Just give them to him a couple at a time. Then you won’t feel so bad and he’ll get dozens of acts of green to his name. Win-win, right?

    • What I failed to mention is that I’m trying to have a housewide purge. Everything must go. And if I dole out the batteries a couple at a time? It’ll drive me nuts. Gotta get rid of ’em NOW.

  2. Exactly what I was going to say. Half now, half later.

  3. there are toys that recharge. ‘toy’ toys, not ‘toy’ toys…. but they have those too….

  4. Perhaps you have a dog that just loves to chase the beam of light from a flashlight. A “D” cell powered flashlight.

    Hap Pensalot

  5. I had a similar stack of batteries that I was saving up to recycle and in the end I just ended up trashing them. Yes, crucify me for not giving a shit about the environment, but it was either have battery acid in the landfill or battery acid in my kitchen drawer (where I was saving all the dead batteries) — I opted for the landfill. Where the hell do you take these things normally?

    As for the “toys”, I think sending them in just a few at a time is a stellar plan, but it would be fun to actually take them in yourself and hand them to the teacher with a a subtle nod and wink and say, “Yeah, that’s right . . .”

    • Don’t feel one bit bad. I’ve put more guilty things into landfills than anyone I know.

      And I actually took the bucket o’batteries in this morning. Another parent looked at them, and said, “Oh! We have a stack like that in our pantry!” I had to bite my tongue so hard, so as not to go all Monty Python: “So, your wife’s a goer then, say no more, say no more.”

  6. After the letter, the video for show and tell day, and the vocab list for his teacher, you better BELIEVE that I would waltz those D batteries up to his teacher with a grin and a wink. That would be hands down the funniest thing ever!

  7. Just tell them that you guys do a lot of rollerskating(green) outside and you have an awesome 80s boombox that just eats batteries.

    Or you could bring them in personally and drop comments that your husband has been REALLY busy with work so you, uh, kinda had to take care of business on your own. Sometime embarrasing people can actually mitigate your own discomfort. Think of it as a unique social experiment. And dude, lay off the batteries, you’re gonna burn it right off:)

  8. Haha, are you sure you don’t want to make that teacher a little extra uncomfortable? Maybe send him with a basketful of Ds and the simple explanation “my mom says the good kind are rechargeable now.”

    Priceless. I crack myself up.

  9. I love you!

    Maybe you could read a little bedtime story to yourself, over at my blog.

    Maybe even write a few, too. Hmmm?

  10. and there’s the type that plug into the wall, too! highly rated, or so i’m told (wink wink)
    there is NOTHING wrong with toys! why perpetuate the shame?

  11. High five to you for taking them in!! Although it really did require superhuman strength for not snickering and letting loose with all the weird shit you could come up with at her! I don’t think I could have done it!

  12. How much, exactly, is a metric butt load? How do I do the conversion from grams into metric butt loads?

    And what is wrong with RoundUp? I spent a good part of the weekend rounding up my jungle of a back garden.

  13. The kids guilted me into recycling. The schools got them into it and I thought that was all wonderful but didn’t believe the city was really finishing up with the recycling. One day I drove out to the dump and I did see big trucks picking up plastics and aluminum.

    Hey, big flashlights take D batteries.

    • It’s wonderful to see the schools get the kids into recycling, but I can’t help feeling sometimes like it’s a bit of brainwashing. And I just hope they continue to use their powers for good.

  14. Quote: “Now, I know, and you know, those are all from toys. And we both know that’s not a euphemism for anything.”

    In text form, sarcasm doesn’t show, so I ask, were you being sarcastic with the second sentence?

  15. When the beagley one was a puppy, everything went into his mouth. Everything. He’d hold some foreign object in his mouth and walk around with it until I forcibly opened his jaws and shook his head until the object came out. But that only happened if I noticed that the beagley one had something in his mouth. I didn’t always pay attention.

    One day Todd called me at work and said “Honey, we’re gonna be rich!”

    “Yeah? How so?”

    “Nemo just crapped a double A battery.”

    So, your sitch could perhaps be more embarrassing. I’m just sayin’.

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