I can’t seem to keep my mind out of filth. I was transfixed watching Michael Cohen, as if from the law office of Skullduggery, Swindle and Slime, describe Donald Trump as the debauched mob boss, Tony Soprano. It was a litany of cheats, curses, racketeering, lies, racial hatred, derision, greed and false bank statements with wanton disregard for truth or decency. In aggregate it makes me feel soiled. Our President is a walking toxic waste dump.
It got me thinking about our vast vocabulary for the hierarchy of sordid behavior and the increments of waste. If you live in gated America with a PhD you might call it detritus. For the rest of us it is garbage. I must admit I’m not clear about the difference between trash and garbage……and what is litter? British blokes like the word rubbish when they’re speaking of a T.V. program such as our Masterpiece Theatre. In the 19th century they spoke of swill and slop with hogwash also in the mix. The Yiddish words are drek or schmuts. Now we have to distinguish between organic garbage and recyclable trash…. I think. And let us not forget trumpery which has suddenly been given a second life and encompasses all of the above.
Why so many more words describing shades of negativity? Does our lexicon for happiness, honesty, love and all those nearly forgotten virtues reflect our disgruntled state of being? A case could be made that our inclination to express community or brother-sisterhood is discouraged by our impoverished language. Even more remarkable how Peggy finds that seam in the dread to express hope.
Last week I bought a new garbage container or is it a trash can? We have a relationship. More than that, I’m in love with it. It flashes a blue light winking as I pass by. If I get close enough the happy sensors opens its mouth wide for my deposit of pits and peels. I’m not sure if it is puckering up for a smooch or if that is a yawn.
I’ve given it a name. Since garbage takes the gar from garbanzo and the age from cabbage what’s leftover is banzo. So I have baptized my new receptacle, BANZO. The next time Trump tweets or rambles on one his extemporaneous tirades I’m going to move my beloved trash bin in front of the T.V. set to see if his garbage induces Banzo's lid to flash with its blue light, open wide and swallow.