Samuel Johnson said, famously, that â€śWhen a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.â€? I must be tired of something, because I got to my favorite store in town this morning, and couldnâ€™t find a single thing I wanted to buy.
Of course weâ€™re genetically programmed to hunt and gather â€” since those in millennia past who didnâ€™t stock up their caves for the hard times ahead never survived to have descendants â€” and Recycle North is a great place to get your shopping addiction over with for the month. You can wander around for half an hour, picking up an unauthorized biography of the Backstreet Boys, a computer microphone that probably doesnâ€™t work (yep, it didnâ€™t), a can opener, a cordless phone, and some dishes. Stack them with a laundry basket, a mug that says “Somebody in Ithaca Loves Me,” a Hurricane glass from Peanuts Taylorâ€™s Drumbeat Club in Nassau (which obviously held drinks with little umbrellas in them), some sheet music, The Quark XPress Book, and a 12-year-old interactive CD called Smithsonianâ€™s America, and everything together, at the checkout counter, comes to about $11.58.
So muchâ€¦ stuff, is really the word for it, in the place, and today nothing at all looked appealing. Probably because I had to get up at 8:30a to help out some people, and morning always depresses me.
Recycle North still is interesting, though, even if you donâ€™t buy anything. I was browsing through two boxes of used computer keyboards â€” not that I need one, but theyâ€™re only $1 â€” when I heard a woman ask at the service window for â€śsome help with a Mac question.â€? I didnâ€™t say anything, but I figured this would be a problem because I know, from buying a second computer monitor there at the end of last year (17-inch ViewSonic Optiquest, $2.50) that Recycle North doesnâ€™t think much of Macs.
She waited around while somebody went off to find the Mac expert until, ultimately, a man appeared to tell her that the Mac guy didnâ€™t work there any more. Heâ€™d gone off and never come back, for some reason no one quite understood. Which led her, reasonably enough, to the question of what she should do next. Various options were explored, all unsatisfactory, until the man remembered Michael. “Do you know Michael?” he asked.
The woman thought briefly, then decided she needed more information. So the man explained: “Well, thereâ€™s an awful lot of people in the world, and Michaelâ€™s certainly one of them.”