No Longer a Bag Lady

I got in a good walk yesterday before the promised rains began. As I described in a February post (, I set out, garbage bag in hand, to get some exercise and pick up the aluminum cans that litter the streets among all the other refuse of litterers. I had just turned the corner leaving my subdivision when a pickup truck I’d seen on my street passed me, then turned around and pulled off the road next to me. It was a family of four on their way out for the day, but when they saw me pick up a can or two, they suspected they’d found the neighborhood bag lady at work.

As had happened to me on previous can walks, these neighbors offered to give me a couple bags of cans they had collected but never recycled. Do I need to remind these people that Fort Worth does accept aluminum cans in the weekly recycling pickup? No, that would take money out of my pocket, and these folks are being nice enough to let me have that money in exchange for getting the cans out of their house and off their conscience. We arranged for them to drop the bags by my house upon their return home later in the day.

Maybe I’m working too hard at this. I could just walk around with a garbage bag and wait for people to give me the cans they’ve already collected. Forget the stooping and bending that can aggravate my back, which already aches from age and more than one unfortunate accident. I’d still get exercise from walking, as well as keep my bag lady service and reputation alive. My garbage bag signals to all, “The bag lady’s here!” just as the ice cream truck’s jingle heralds its arrival.

But actually, I’m not a bag lady anymore. I’ve now been employed for two months. And it’s amazing that I didn’t have to take a cut in pay – I just had to take a year off.

Mind you, you did not hear this rumor from me. Besides keeping my bag lady status intact, I also intend to maintain my persona as the downtrodden voice of the unemployed. Besides, its hard to give up the perks of unemployment. Free meals are still most welcome as always.

Though I’ve finally made it to the other side, my work here is far from done. I’m just not going to call myself a bag lady anymore.

I’m the Can Whisperer.

    • Cora
    • October 9th, 2011

    Congrats on the new job and your amazing can whispering ability. All the best in both enterprises!

      • Paula Robertson
      • October 11th, 2011

      Thanks, Cora!

    • Betty Boling
    • October 9th, 2011

    Liked your article. Best to you with the new job. Betty

    • Mitzi
    • October 9th, 2011

    So celebrate your employment…and “can whispering” !
    Many Blessings,

    • Laurie Whitt
    • October 9th, 2011

    Love it!

      • Paula Robertson
      • October 9th, 2011

      Hey, Laurie! Thanks for reading.

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