08 July 2011

Yard Waste

A most perplexing collection of oddities, yard waste has been known to exist both within and beyond the pale.  This researcher’s dedication to an exhaustive study of yard waste demanded that an entire chapter of The Lost Child's Guide be devoted to items found in one's yard.

By familiarizing oneself with the various types of yard waste (and items not considered yard waste), one will have less trouble discerning the difference between the more authentic type of yard waste that can alert one to signs that he might be leaving the pale, as opposed to yard art and decorations within the pale. Equally important is the vigilance required to notice the absence of yard waste while one is either trapped in or enjoying the confines of the pale.  Survival beyond the pale depends upon one’s ability utilize items that resemble yard waste but have been discovered beyond the pale where houses (and therefore yards) are infrequent.  Finally, a special section is devoted to the lamentable presence of storing yard waste within the home

Pale Warning: For the reader’s safety and the safety of others, the last section contains important warnings, instructions, and safety procedures which must be understood before handling anything that resembles yard waste.

Items considered yard waste by fans of the pale include but are not limited to tangible debris such as corrugated metal, porcelain doll legs, abandoned dryers, scummy blue kiddie pools, heaps of old newspapers,  moldy cardboard boxes, smashed-up television sets, broken lawn furniture, plastic hobby-horses, shredded tarps, rotten box springs, flat tires, bicycle handlebars, entire automobiles, tangled up electrical cords,  used underwear snagged on chain-link fences, and rusted farm machinery. Worthless dangerous accumulation of unused materials often disturbs those living happily in the pale. Those residing within the pale often express disgust and even terror upon encountering yard waste.  If one is collecting yard waste outside of the home, she is most likely subconsciously preparing to leave the pale and provoking her neighbors in the process.

On the Beauty and Horror of Yard Waste

It should be obvious that yard waste can serve as a litmus test when determining how entrenched in the pale an individual is. If an individual residing in the pale complains about neighbors who display any of the following in their yards - grocery carts, appliances, exercise machines, a few cement blocks, metal flowers, statues, pots, sculptures, much-maligned plastic pink flamingos, cement baskets containing flowers, metal sunflowers, bird houses and a few garden statues of frogs, turtles and rabbits – this pale fellow is likely to never venture beyond the pale, and may not be aware that any area aside from the pale exists. 

While it may be tempting to identify items found beyond the pale as yard waste, one must remember that a yard is required in order for yard waste to exist (See Also: found objects). When determining whether something is or is not yard waste, the object in question’s likeliness of becoming yard waste decreases in direct proportion to how much it is loved. Lost toys and (rabbits) scattered beyond should never be considered yard waste. Their absence could prove to be the confounding variable that sends the owner beyond the pale. Often, these magical artifacts are removed from the pale, which is certainly preferable to incineration (See also: velveteen rabbits, latency period).

No matter how pale the environment this waste exists in, its characteristics vary depending upon its location and existence of a yard. Found objects, mostly rusty metal or magical epherma and common beach trash, usually exist beyond the pale as they are piles of yard waste without a house or yard.  Such monuments to and of yard waste rarely exist within the pale. Encountering yard waste far beyond the boundaries of civilization is a sure sign that one is beyond the pale.

Beyond the pale, yard waste should be salvaged and used for individual protective devices and shelter. Tree houses, bomb shelters, caves, and flying ships are easily fashioned from piles of tires, mannequin legs hanging on a bed frames, and rusted caps for pick-up trucks. A chipped porcelain dog quickly becomes an Individual Protective Device when one is confronted by sneaks of weasels.

compost. The most confusing practice of composting, the act of disposing of food waste in one’s own yard, raises issues about the definition of yard waste. These bins, often brimming with coffee grounds, sandwich crusts, and rotten vegetables, (waste which is referred to as compost) should never be identified as yard waste. The fact that the compost itself is typically surrounded by pales in no way indicates that a civilian yard is in any way beyond the pale.

Objects naturally accumulating in the area surrounding a home (yard) should not be considered yard waste unless their presence disturbs neighbors of or those who reside in the home surrounded by said yard.

yard waste within the home. 

A most disturbing category of yard waste that is found inside one’s dwelling as opposed to the lawn surrounding the house.  (See also: failed attempts at leaving the pale). 

While little is known about the motives for displaying yard waste within one’s home, this unhealthy practice may be an expression of a latent subconscious desire to leave the pale.  Those who attempt to recreate what exists beyond the pale within their homes would be better off wandering beyond.

Such pitiful assortments of things, which may include driftwood, rubber hoses, and rusty animal traps, should be considered yard waste within the home if they meet at least two of the following three criteria: 

  1. Item(s) would be considered useless trash by a rational person.
  2. Item(s) is physically inside the house even though social norm dictates that it be located outdoors.
  3. Item(s) serves neither a functional nor aesthetic purpose inside.

Under no circumstances should one who is concerned about the state of his yard drag regular yard waste into his home to conceal it from view, as dementia and bizarre injuries often result from such self-conscious behavior.

When encountering yard waste within the home of someone else, personal safety should be of paramount concern.  Under no circumstances should a visitor attempt to remove yard waste from a host’s home, as such confrontations regarding always end in violence. Furthermore, a guest who encounters yard waste within the home of a host should take great care to avoid injuries.

If the risk to pets and small children becomes so great that a guest is compelled to remove yard waste from the home of a friend of loved one, an individual protective device will be required.

Role in dysfunctional family directly relates to likelihood that a guest will attempt to remove Yard Waste from the home of his or her host or parents (See also: Dysfunctional Families, Hero).

Accumulating yard waste within the home should never be confused with hoarding. Hoarders tend to view their possessions as extensions of themselves, "with objects valued as safety signals because of the sense of security derived from them . . . hoarders often report that discarding possessions becomes akin to losing a loved one" (Kyrios et al., 2004, p. 244) while yard waste within the home is wholly unpleasant for everyone involved.


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