Monday, 9 May 2011

Smashed on My Birthday

It was my birthday a few days ago. It took a little extra time to get this post sorted out. But now it's here. Let's pretend it's still my birthday.

Today it is sunny and there are things growing in my garden. This pleases me.

In celebration of this, and in acknowledgment of today being my Special Day since the first time I took a breath of air on the planet, I have prepared a simulation of New Year's Eve 2007/8. The items in question were found discarded on a night bus somewhere in south London. Now they prepare to meet their end.

This time I am taking the precaution of removing the batteries first, which when smashed will leak in the garden, and I don't feel good about that. I don't actually have soil in my garden (it's very sloppily paved from its ex-car park days), and the flowers and radishes and carrots and beetroot and potatoes in the immediate vicinity are in containers, but I have to consider the quadrupeds. Or, cats, as some people call them. 

This is not to say that removing these batteries from my plan of wreckage means I will "responsibly dispose of" them ("recycle", yes, "recycle") in their unadulterated state, passively allowing them to be shipped off to China to poison humans and animals over there. And to disobey labeling and just toss them straight in the bin means they'll go to a bit of land or a section of the nearby off-shore irradiated liquid that some people call the sea. So it's not a clear-cut NIMBY situation: we will all be drinking the acid from these batteries, just like we drink it from billions of other batteries all the time. I just don't want my quadrupeds or green growths to be in immediate danger of concentrated poison in the garden. In the components of a mobile telephone, the radiation emissions during operation simply don't compare with the INSTANT DEATH of ingesting battery acid.

Not that there aren't benefits to INSTANT DEATH. I am tempted to just go ahead and smash the batteries and let them leak all over in the name of exterminating squirrels, aphids, and a small selection of fungi and parasitic infections that prey upon my plants. It is not entirely confirmed whether it is the quadrupeds or the squirrels that are responsible for digging up seedlings and bulbs. (NB: squirrels not included in the category "quadruped". They are evil. I care not for the number of legs they have. 'Twould be better if they had none at all). There is indisputable evidence that the cats have had their way with some of the larger containers where the greenery is barely established. They have been caught in the act. But there is also evidence of squirrel misdemeanors, mostly in the form of bulb theft or nut relocation. They are returning for their winter booty - although during my very thorough digging and re-shuffling of dirt for planting I only found two nuts. And I put them aside for retrieval. Who's been trodding on my land, then? 

Perhaps cats and squirrels are conspiring together? Just when I thought they were enemies, they rise against me.

But look, I'm not withholding squirrel food. They have little stashes spread out in all the gardens. And the cats are fed to bursting, plus they have free reign over birds and mice outside. Somebody here is taking the/a piss. Or the squirrels are just too stupid to realize that it doesn't matter how many times they dig their little holes in the same pot for a non-existent nut - it isn't going to suddenly materialize. The cats, on the other hand, know when they're in trouble for something, and they know what is not permitted. And they also - unlike most cats - stay out of pots, especially when something is growing in them and the soil is wet. They find the sensation on their paws to be rather icky. So it is possible to gauge - based on soil consistency and moisture, size of holes (or lack thereof), and which container is under attack - who the culprit was. And it's turning out to be squirrels more often than les chats.

My rage is usually with aphids. I have to crush them all individually and occasionally spray them with garlic and dish soap, which is a lot of work. Snails and slugs? They now have a designated weed-filled resort area that keeps us all happy. Plant diseases are deeply upsetting - sometimes there just isn't a remedy, even if I were a hard-chemicals-gardener. BUT. I have never harboured ill-will towards a squirrel until about 3 weeks ago. I have ceased to be amused by their fat butts and stupid twitchy tails. And so I consider carefully, and seriously: should I put squirrels and INSTANT DEATH together? Here they are together in this sentence. Shall I put this poetry in motion?

No, no, no. How could I. I suppose the squirrels are alright. I'll crush an aphid but I cannot touch the squirrels.

Because I might get rabies.

Anyway, let's get back to what I came here to do. I made the decision to remove Lithium-ion battery from said device. Here we go now, time to smash it up:

For those of you in the market for a new phone, your choice might benefit from the fact that the Samsung phone took longer to break than the Nokia. Such durability.


  1. That's what my phone said when it germinated cancer in my brain.

    Therefore, all unattended mobile phones will meet this fate should they fall into my hands. I'm not very nice to things on my blacklist.