Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whatever Gets You Through the Day

We all have techniques we rely on to get us through the bad patches, over the humps and out to the other side. When I am feeling overwhelmed with bad news, I have found that thinking about shredder trucks cheers me up. The whole concept of shredding cheers me.
So it was especially serendipitous that, as I sat here bemoaning (going from the personal to the public): my clogged sinuses, the plague of flies in the house (Saint Bernard is still AWOL), Bruno’s limp, CSB’s disappearing drill bits, The mystery of the green pumpkins, the spate of bad news at my publishers culminating with the resignation of the much-admired Becky Saletan, the economy, the war and global warming – the phone rang with an automated messaged from Westchester county informing me that because Westchester county is so concerned with my vulnerability to identity theft, I can bring up to four boxes of documents (minus staples, clips, snaps, and zippers) down to the train station this Sunday and feed them into the maw of the County's MOBILE SHREDDING UNIT.

Here is a shredding fact: during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979 the US embassy shredded all their documents as fast as they could. Later, when the Iranians took over the embassy they gathered up all the shredded paper and turned it over to local carpet weavers, who put it all back together to provide the Iranians with irrefutable evidence of the Americans' Imperialist designs. That must surely rank high on the list of Tedious Jobs of Dubious Worthiness.

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