Short Story Day 142 of 365
For the better part of three decades, Rick had been crushing aluminum pop cans. It wasn’t a hobby or money-making scheme, but a habit.
Back when Rick was young and daring, he drank alcohol quite a bit, which is an understatement.
That was then.
Now, Rick didn’t drink alcohol, else he’d probably be dead because of it.
No, Rick’s drink of choice was the newest diet soda on the market. The diet sodas always tasted better. The Real Thing had far too many calories and too much real sugar for his liking, but the bad taste is what turned him off in earnest.
His friend, Russell, offered him a can right after diet was introduced, and watched as Russell crushed the can before tossing it away.
“What’s the deal with each of those cans?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, every time you finish a can, you crush it once before throwing it away.”
“Oh, do I? Must be habit,” Russell said. “Never really thought about it. That way I know the can’s empty and I can toss it without having to pick it up first to find out. I guess it was from my beer drinking days. Crushed can means go get another one.
“Or maybe it was a way to know if I could use it as an ashtray during my cigarette smoking days.
“Come to think of it, I also used it as my spittoon during my snuff chewing days. I didn’t want to have to think about it nor tick off someone else by spitting in their beer cans if they were still drinking it. If it was crushed, it was mine and I could do with it what I wanted. It happened only once where someone took a swig without realizing it wasn’t his beer can. Eww. I formed the can-crushing habit quickly after that.”
“Yeah, I know,” Rick said.