Elmer was typically eager to scold. Instead of appreciating progress, he usually complains about how long progress took.
“By the way,“ Elmer added, “Why is it that we always seem to have these articles ready whenever we meet?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “Funny, ain’t it? Elmer ... Elmer.”
Elmer was busy giving the evil eye to a man with a cartload of plastic water bottles. If looks could kill, then Elmer was a murderer.
“What’s wrong?” I shouted to gain his attention. He slowly turned my way.
“Those people and millions like them could care less about our environment! Those plastic bottles are killing ocean life and polluting everything.”
Elmer was agitated.
“Look, maybe the guy recycles. I do,” I reasoned.
Elmer calmed down. Then I added, “They are working on the problem, you know. According to futurist Gray Scott, “From plastics floating ‘islands’ in our seas, to mountains of discarded computers and cell phones. E-waste has become a huge 21st-century issue and it will only continue if we do not do something to stop it.
“Researchers at the University of Illinois in collaboration with Tufts University and Northwestern University have created new dissolvable eco-friendly ‘Transient Technologies.’ Soon, your old old cell phones, computers, digital cameras and other technologies could be dissolved and absorbed back into the environment simply by adding water.”
“Wait a second,” Elmer objected. “If these bottles dissolve with water, then how can you keep water in them?”
Elmer had me stumped. I remember once asking a man at the hardware store if the drain unplugging liquid was safe for plastic pipes. He said it had to be because it was sold in plastic bottles. Duh. But this was different. “I remember now. The article said it would dissolve in biofluids – you know, murky water with lots of bacteria.”
“I don’t know,” Elmer added. “Sounds like the stuff that comes out of your coffeepot.”
This time, Elmer was on target.
• Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune.