The trashiest col­umn in to­day’s pa­per

The Packet (Clarenville) - - FRONT PAGE - Steve Bartlett The Deep End Steve Bartlett is an edi­tor with SaltWire Net­work. He dives into the Deep End Mon­days to es­cape re­al­ity and the board game KerPlunk. Reach him at steve.bartlett@thetele­

If some­one had said some­thing, I would have told them, briskly pass­ing go and heaing for the door, “Jour­nal­ists have to be pre­pared to dig at all times and places.”


A trans­former blew and the power went out in the mid­dle of the “Tan­gled,” a Dis­ney-fied ver­sion of “Ra­pun­zel.”

The kids were up­set.

I told them it was a power out­age, there was noth­ing I could do, and to let down their hair.

They didn’t un­der­stand. I sug­gested they play un­til the power came back.

They did that peace­fully for 1.5763 sec­onds and then sib­ling war broke out.

It was 7:30 on a Satur­day morn­ing and I had been try­ing to give my wife some muchde­served rest.

I doubted she was get­ting much sleep with the drama un­fold­ing in our base­ment.

Swim­ming les­sons were at 9 a.m. and there is a McDon­alds on the way to the pool, so I de­cided to leave now and make a break­fast stop along the way.

The din­ing area was about half full, mostly adults drink­ing cof­fee and read­ing their Satur­day pa­per.

The kids dug into hot­cake meals.

I, too, sipped cof­fee and read the pa­per.

The kids asked to head for the play­room once they fin­ished eat­ing.

We didn’t have to leave for the pool for 35 min­utes so that wasn’t a prob­lem.

I started to clean up the mess, pil­ing every­thing on the tray and then head­ing for the garbage.

Pulling the han­dle for­ward, I slid the tray in the slot and dumped the con­tain­ers and pa­per on the tray.

That’s when I no­ticed the unpeeled Mo­nop­oly stick­ers in the trash on the kids’ hash­brown bags and my cof­fee cup.

I don’t even play McMonopoly, but I’m well aware Par­lia­ment Hill and Rideau Canal are worth $150,000, the top prize and enough money to put a big smile on my face.

“What if I just threw away one of those big money pieces?” I asked my­self.

With that, and with­out think­ing, I stuck my arm in the bin and fished for the pack­ag­ing.

It was a new twist on the three-sec­ond rule.

Arm in bin up to the shoul­der, it struck me that I was wear­ing a jacket with

“The Tele­gram” — the name of the news­pa­per where I work — em­bla­zoned across the back.


Red with em­bar­rass­ment, I con­sid­ered stuff­ing my whole body in the waste bin.

I was ap­pre­hen­sive to turn around or make eye con­tact with any­one as I slowly walked to­wards my ta­ble with the re­trieved trash.

Was there a per­son or group of peo­ple star­ing at me, eye­brows raised, won­der­ing what the news­pa­per guy was do­ing or look­ing for?

I pre­pared for ques­tions of con­cern — “Do you want some change?” — and smar­ty­pants quips — “Your writ­ing re­ally is garbage!”

But no one seemed to take no­tice.

So I sat and peeled the pieces. They turned out to be “Hal­i­fax Air­port” and

“Lake Athabasca” — pieces that car­ried no in­stant win but places where I would love to be at that mo­ment.

If some­one had said some­thing, I would have told them, briskly pass­ing­wwgw.oface-and heaing for the door, “Jour­nalNieswtss­pa­pher­ave to be pre­pared to dig at all times and places.”

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