I, Chemical: A Policy In Three Self-Portraits – Talkin’ Trash, February 2014

(apologies to I. Asimov…but I just couldn’t resist)

Image credit: Wikipedia

Image credit: Wikipedia

Portrait 1

I run with a couple of hydros now, shifting between phases, rising, falling, making new bonds and then breaking them. It’s repetitive, but it’s a good gig. Things weren’t always this way. I used to bond with a pair of other oxos. Man, we used to ride high together. But then things started falling to pieces. Them CFCs and BFCs, all hepped up on ultraviolet, they started tearing us apart…where once we teemed up around the stratosphere, there was a great big hole.

Spent some time with a couple of nitros for a while after that. Sure, we had a lot of laughs, but ironically, we also got a reputation for ripping up oh-threes and being more of a greenhouse gasser than see-oh-toos…I had to get out of there…quit the scene. Tried respiration for a bit, but wasn’t cut out for it.

So now, sure, I run with a couple of hydros…at least ‘til the next thing comes along.

 Portrait 2

Me? I’m an alkyl phenol ethoxylate. A nonyl to be exact. Back in the day, things were busy…things were good. I mean, when it comes down to it, I’m a surfactant which means, if you get past the scientific mumbo jumbo, that I’m really good at mixing oil, grease and other stuff with water…so I was in demand. Dish soap, laundry detergent…everybody wanted me.

But then some wise guys and wise gals figured out that once I was dumped down the drain with all those soaps and detergents, I tended to hang around in streams and lakes for a long time. And the clincher? They said I was extremely toxic to fish and other aquatic life…and that I had been shown to have “estrogenic properties”…whatever that means. Next thing I know, they start banning me all over the place…I haven’t cleaned anything decent at UHN in years…many years.

So now, I sit around a lot. Sure, the phone rings every once in a while, but mostly it’s quiet Things sure aren’t like they used to be.

Portrait 3

Cytotoxic? How can they call me cytotoxic?

It sounds so derogatory, so misleading…so toxic!

Do they know who they’re talking about?!? Me…Mitomycin C! I mean, I help a lot of people…I make sick people better, I get rid of bad things.

Come to think of it, why do I get to hang out only with sick people…I mean, if I’m so good at helping them, imagine what I could do for healthy people. It would be amazing, right? Wouldn’t it?

Epilogue

Chemicals? Pharmaceutical waste? Sure, UHN has policies for both…but if you’re not sure…ask…because, if you’re dumping it, you’re drinking it!

-de (nom de plume)

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