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« Maps as Propaganda: the Turning of the Tide, January 1943 | Main | Atomic Bomb Exposure Effects on Pregnancy at Hiroshima and Nagasaki »



I'll have to peruse the Timeline of Garbage again. 1935 caught my eye -- Krueger's Cream of Ale made the first can of beer. Did you ever drink Genessee Cream Ale? I'd forgotten about cream ale. And then 1958 -- Bic Crystal Company introduced the disposable pen. I've been writing with a Bic Crystal pen this evening. The world is a magical place! Which is not to say that I miss the corrugated garbage can with the tight lid that was hard to get off. The plastic carts with wheels and hinged lids that now hold our garbage are to be preferred. Happy Labor Day.

John Ptak

Genie Cream Ale? yes. Yes. I remember driving to Montreal on the Northway and stopping around Saratoga and finding a case of Genie (sp?) Cream Ale for sale at a derelict gas station for 99 cents! I bought it and threw it away, instantly--at least I could go into the future with the story of having bought a case of any sort of beer for a buck, even if that was in 1977. Still. A dollar? What in the "h" "e" double-toothpicks could that stuff have tasted like? I'd like to say that I punctured every can with a BIC PEN to bring some closure to this story, but I didn't.
I like the garbage cans that you can't open!
Actually, in another story ABOUT ME I was driving my brand new used Chrysler New Yorker pimpmobile in 1981 when, innocently driving down the street and playing around with my fancy foot-controlled FM radio search button, my car was hit by a metal trashcan that was thrown (empty) by the hauler from the back of his truck across two lanes of traffic. He was a bit short, and landed the thing on my fender. Let me tell you, *that* was unexpected. He told me he could've made the throw if he wasn't drunk. All things being equal, it was an impressive effort.

patti digh

Dear Jeff -

Not only is the world a truly magical place where Bic Crystals stand in for wonder, but - as it turns out - life is also a verb! (smile)


patti, a Bic Crystal IS a wonder. And although I can't find the verb form of "life" in the American Heritage Dictionary (at Bartleby.com), what do Americans know about the English language? When Tevye sings "To Life!" he may well have been using the verb form. I can't be sure. I saw Herschel Bernardi as Tevye, not Zero Mostel, and so may not have heard the authoritative version.


Oh, and John ... Genessee Cream Ale was the best deal around for many years, although I think you were wise to toss the 99-cent case. It should have cost 3 bucks more. Clearly, you had an eye for value. In the movie of your life, ironic comic relief will be provided by the scene in which your new New Yorker is beaned with a garbage can.

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