That is not a typo. I know what you’re thinking. Bacardi 151. That flame-throwing 75% alcohol cooking rum.
No. I’m talking about the 152 empty bottles of Bacardi rum that I hauled out to the recycling truck. They’d been piling up in the storage room one at a time. I could no longer ignore the statement they made about my lifestyle, so (rather than alter my lifestyle) I resolved to get rid of them. Not such a simple matter. Schlepping 152 empty rum bottles is no easy feat.
I filled a few large vinyl totes with the bottles. 152 bottles. Did I mention they were all Bacardi rum bottles? Except for one lonely Absolut vodka bottle, the result of the shop that stocks rum being closed one night when we weren’t prepared to stop drinking. I say “we” but we both know I mean “I”…and I dragged them out to meet the recycling truck.
I hefted the bags onto the arse-end of the truck and indicated to the Taiwanese recycling dude that I wanted my large tote bags back (there will be more bottles, after all).
Working the back of the recycling truck is, I think, a lot like driving a milk delivery truck (something I actually recall seeing as a child): You have your neighbourhood route; you see the same people regularly…this woman always takes half-and-half, that guy takes skim milk.
The man on the recycling truck has a pretty good idea about how much paper, plastic and glass his customers consume on a daily basis. And then there I was standing in the street waiting for 152 bottles of high-fat goat milk.
As soon as he saw the bags he got an odd look on his face, as if wondering, “What the fuck is this foreigner doing with all those bottles?”
As he emptied them I could see the question evolve: “What the hell…they’re all liquor bottles? Why does he have so many empty liquor bottles?”
“Aiyah! They’re all Bacardi bottles?”
The Bacardi bottles followed one another into the GLASS bag. His surprise became amusement around bottle #15, followed by awe at bottle #40 and, it seemed, a growing degree of respect somewhere about #80.
Eventually he found the single Absolut bottle. He turned and caught the attention of his cohort on the back of the truck, held up the empty Absolut bottle and said, “Pungyoh!” (Friend!)
My Chinese is pretty bad, but I managed to communicate that I have at least a couple of friends. And that I drank the damn vodka.