The Smell of Donuts Still Makes Me Cry: A Tale of Environmentally Friendly Tears

       I am not normally prone to weeping.  I’ll sniffle occasionally at a Meryl Streep movie or an episode of Emergency Vets.  You might hear me choke up in an attempt to speak about a loved one at some ceremonious occasion.  But one does not generally find me in a crumpled ball surrounded by a flood of salty tears.  Until…I decided to buy a new car.

Inspired by my Seattle surroundings, I was seriously going green. I ate local.  I purchased recycled toilet paper, environmentally-friendly dishwashing, clothes-washing, face-cleansing, body-scrubbing, counter-cleaning products, and I started composting….everything, including the hair from my hairbrush. I flushed when necessary, forwent one shower each week on the minimal sweating days when I had no plans for any exceptionally close hugging.  Most of what I owned: clothes, furniture, electronics, had originally been, in their newness, in the hands of someone else. As I began to scan the larger contributors to my carbon footprint, I saw potential further eco-salvation in the purchase of an alternative car that relied not on Chevron but on the transformed substance from the discards of the local greasy spoon: Biodiesel.


Bud Light and I Take a Ride

And the judge bellows: “Mary Purdy, you are charged with ‘disturbing the peace’.  How do you plead?” A soft chirp is all I can muster. “Guilty”. 

Now, I have never been someone who has gotten into trouble nor did I have the desire for engaging in harmful mischievous activity in my youth.  I still suffer a twinge of guilt when reminded that, I, at 6 years old once covertly covered a large pile of dog poop with pebbles and then suggested to my afternoon playmate that jumping into the “pile of pebbles” would be a fun game for which she should definitely go first.

I was a “model student”- polite, courteous, never obsequious, but very respectful of others.  I managed to always have a bit of an angelic reputation and was voted “The nicest” in my grade.  Aside from that poop pebble aberration, I wasn’t really one to test the test the boundaries, and I soon came to realize that if I were to do something wrong, no one would ever suspect me.   I remember my freshman year, I had eaten an orange in the school library - a major no no but I was hungry.  Ms. McCormick, the fierce librarian, came scurrying around the corner, led by the obvious smell. 
“Who is eating an orange in here?”  She shrieked. (At that point, the orange was in my stomach, the rind in the trash)  She looked around at the silent students.  Then she looked at me.
 “Well, I know it wasn’t YOU, Mary.”

Disturbing the peace.  There IS no peace in Panama City Florida during Spring Break. It is its own battleground of booze, bimbos and brawn.   Nature and all things natural seem to have packed their bags and left permanently. Everyone there is half drunk, half intelligent, half naked (even in 45 degree weather) and shouting obscenities to each other from car to car on the main drag and  interrupted only by the call and response “Woo!”  “Woo!”  And music blasts and blares out of every vehicle at every hour of the night.  There is no peace in Panama City.  None.