Yellow and green and brown and clear?

2(Shoah Memorial Paris)

Had an odd experience at the recycle centre today. Quite thrilling and at the same time very simple. To set the scene let me tell you, I like rules. I know where I stand with rules, they make things clear for me. For many year Denis has found this hilarious… and has been kept amused noticing my efforts to follow even the silliest rules.

For example I do not drive across a car park diagonally through the empty spaces. No matter how few cars are there I follow the arrows. In general I go out of my way to discover what the rules are in order to be sure I’m following them. Until today…. I was bringing all the Christmas plastics, biscuit tins and bottles to recycle, it was very busy.

3(Shoah Memorial)

So busy that the main bottle bank was full and there was just one slot available, with a man (dressed in bright yellow) on duty alongside. Beneath the slot a handwritten sign said, All Bottles Here. But I had clear bottles and green bottles and brown bottles, there’s a rule… the clear bottles go into the clear bottle slot, the green bottles go into the green bottle slot and the brown bottles go into the brown bottle slot. I was riveted to the spot, I didn’t know what to do. How could I put different colour bottles into the same slot?

5

(Some of the names of the French people who broke the rules to help Jewish people during World War II)

So I asked the yellow man, Can I put any colour bottle in here? He wasn’t looking at me when he nodded, so I guessed he didn’t understand the gravity of what I was asking. Even brown ones?, Yes! So I picked up the first brown one and threw it in, followed by all the greens and then all clear ones. And you know what? It was liberating!

I may do it again, Mairead.

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