It was what the Icelanders would call “Window Weather.”
This means that the weather looks good as you look out through your window, but when you actually get outside, despite the sunshine, it is rather nippy out. I decided to go for a morning walk anyway, to get a little exercise, to enjoy the out-of-doors, our fair city and a little nature.
One just never knows who or what you may encounter on a walk. I was walking along the Frame Lake Trail, picking up the occasional piece of litter as I went. Unfortunately, Yellowknife has such a litter problem that you need to clean it up every few hours.
I stopped at one of the city garbage cans to empty my litter bag. I use the word garbage can figuratively, because it was really a two-ton bunker of rock and concrete, with a plastic garbage can theoretically safely store inside. I assume this is done to protect the can from vandals, whether they be of the human or bear persuasion.
To my surprise, sitting at the top of the pile was a rather big and full plastic water bottle. Also Hagar the Horrible was staring back at me. Hagar the Horrible was a comic strip years ago (which you can still read at comicskingdom.com/hagar-the-horrible).
It looked like his image was being used by Hygaard Fine Foods, to sell their sandwiches. These sandwiches are sold at a lot of Northern convenience stores. On my morning walk, I wasn’t expecting to encounter a Viking complete with dented helmet, battle scarred shield and it looked like he was gnawing on a giant turkey drumstick or some sort of leg of meat. Hungry dude. Marketing works and this was certainly a recognizable logo.
There was not one but two of them. One was a “super Pizza Sub” and the other was a “1/4 Pound Bacon and Mozza Burger.” They were still in their packages and looked fine to eat. These pre-made ready-to-eat feasts are actually a scientific marvel, the way they are packaged. They suck out all the air or oxygen, which would cause things to oxidize, and replace it with an inert gas, usually carbon dioxide and nitrogen, to increase their shelf life. It works and is a clever bit of science. I have eaten a few of them over the years and they are not bad but once I open them up, I like to let them sit for a while, so the inert gases are replaced by our breathable air. I don’t know if this is necessary, but psychologically, it makes me feel better.
What surprised me most, was that the bottle of water and two sandwiches looked like they had been left there as an offering to some ancient Norse Gods of Garbage. Since the contents of the cans end up at the garbage dump, maybe they were left for the dump gods, who seem to have an insatiable appetite. The dump just keeps growing. Eventually, I expect it will cover more land than the city occupies and will probably survive a whole lot longer.
Just why someone decided to download them into the garbage will probably never be known. It is a Northern mystery. Burying full plastic bottles of water at the dump seems wrong as does getting rid of edible food. They still had price tags on them, and they cost a total of $19.25 before taxes. I looked at the sandwiches for their best before dates and they had passed them by a few days. However, if one was really hungry, they would still be fine. They were frozen solid after all. Just not quite as nutritious as they had once been. So, someone walking along the trail had just dumped twenty dollars’ worth of food and water into the garbage. On top of this would be the cost of transporting them to the dump and burying them there.
I retrieved the water bottle, took off its cap, and liberated the water back to the environment, where it belonged. We only have a certain amount of water on this planet, so we best look after it. Then I continued with my walk. However, after encountering a Northern mystery, Hagar the Horrible and Hygaard the sandwich-maker, I would have to find some mighty interesting litter to top that.