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Love at the landfill

Love, as a newfangled saying goes, means never having to say you're sorry for practicing social distancing.

My wife, Sue, and I, who have always believed in social togetherness, recently celebrated our 42nd anniversary in the most romantic way possible in this age of quarantine:

We got out of the house and took a trip to the dump.

Our passion burned intensely as we contemplated a pile of logs that would never burn intensely in our backyard fire pit.

So, after they were cut up from a tree that was struck by lightning, which did not create sparks between us, Sue and I decided to load the logs into my car for a scenic drive to a nearby landfill.

While Sue, wearing gloves and a scarf, was at the grocery store to buy our pre-made anniversary dinners (spaghetti and clams for me, calamari for her), I was in the yard, plopping wood into a wheelbarrow.

At the same time, three cable guys showed up to do fiberoptic work.

"You couldn't have picked a better day," I told them. "It's my anniversary. And I'm celebrating by taking my wife to the landfill."

"Are they open?" the crew chief asked.

"Yes," I replied. "Just for me and my wife."

"That's so nice of them!" another guy exclaimed.

"Do they have champagne and strawberries for you?" a third one inquired.

"I hope so," I said before asking the crew chief if he was married.

"Yes," he said.

"Have you ever done anything this romantic with your wife?" I queried.

"No, you got me beat," he said.

When I told one of the other guys that Sue gave me the wheelbarrow for our anniversary a few years ago, he said, "What did she get for you this year, a shovel?"

Just then, Sue arrived back home.

"Happy anniversary!" the guys said to her in unison.

"Thank you!" Sue gushed.

"Are you going to the dump now?" one of them asked.

"Yes," said Sue.

"Do you have a picnic basket and a blanket?" the crew chief asked.

"That would have been a great idea - lunch at the landfill," I said.

"Have fun, you lovebirds!" the crew chief said as he and the other guys again wished us a happy anniversary and headed for the yard next door.

Sue and I put roughly 17 tons of logs into the back of my car. As we buckled up in the front seat, I said, "You can't say I'm a bump on a log today."

Sue sighed and said, "Just drive."

When we got to the dump, I told the lady in the booth about our special day.

"It's our anniversary and we're spending it here," I said.

"Well," she responded, "it's a unique way to celebrate."

After parking in the designated area for brush and wood, we met a nice guy named Anthony, who was unloading logs from his car, too.

"I don't know if I would bring my wife to the dump for our anniversary," he said, "but she does help me with yard work."

Anthony helped Sue and me by taking a picture of us.

"It'll be a keepsake," he said. "You'll always remember your anniversary at the landfill."

Sue and I thanked Anthony and drove home. We had so much fun that we loaded the car with more logs and made a second trip to the dump, where I told another booth attendant about this landmark event.

"Happy anniversary!" she chirped.

It was happy indeed. After Sue and I got back home, we had a candlelight dinner and toasted each other with wine.

"I don't know how we can top this next year," I said.

"I do," said Sue. "You can take me on a trip. And not to the dump."

- Jerry Zezima

Jerry Zezima writes a humor column for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, which includes his hometown paper, theStamford Advocate. His column is distributed by Tribune News Service of Chicago and has run in newspapers nationwide and abroad. He is also the author of four books,Leave It to Boomer, The Empty Nest Chronicles, Grandfather Knows BestandNini and Poppie's Excellent Adventures, all of which are "crimes against literature." He has won seven awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for his humorous writing.

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