Entry 21: The Hazards of Living in Stamford

When you move to a new community, it’s a good idea to get involved with local traditions and celebrations. So I’m really excited about today, because, according to the huge banner on Washington Boulevard, it’s Stamford’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day!

Judging from this banner, which looks like it could have been left behind by the recently-departed Big Apple Circus, you’d think Hazardous Waste Day was one of Stamford’s major joyous holidays.

Oh, yes, I can just picture the parade…people dressed in festive muriatic acid costumes; the massive floats made entirely from old batteries; the marching aerosol cans. The parade route will be marked off by a wide stripe of oil-based paints and primers, all the way to the end point at Scalzi Park, where popular local rock bands such as the Cesspool Cleaners will be entertaining the crowds for free. The highlight of the afternoon will be the traditional touch football game between those arch rivals, the Solvents and the Sealants.

I’m sure a great time will be had by all.

Okay, maybe it won’t be that big a deal. I’ll never know. Because now that I’ve visited Stamford’s Hazardous Materials Recycling web page, I’ll be cowering under my bed.

I don’t know about you, but when I think of “hazardous materials,” I think of oozing plutonium rods and envelopes filled with anthrax, and scary people in orange hazmat suits.

I don’t think of Easy-Off Oven Cleaner and anal thermometers. I don’t think of stuff in my house.

According to the list of hazardous materials on Stamford’s website, we should all be glowing like neon signs and then exploding into small individual mushroom clouds. The list has stuff like antifreeze and insect repellent and moth balls. During the summer, my wife sprays on insect repellent just to go out for the mail, and now I’m learning it’s hazardous? Sure, to insects. But to humans?

Look, I’m all for recycling and I’m all against hazardous materials. I truly hope that Stamford’s Hazardous Waste Day is a big success, and that Scalzi Park is inundated with revelers dropping off their dangerous stuff.

But I’m not going near the place!

See you soon.

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