By Trina Machacek
I am not a scientist and I know it. I do not understand ozone, the ozone layer, the hole in the ozone or even exactly how ozone works. I do know that to the human race and all other forms of animal life and probably plants too, that ozone is our protection from the bad rays of the sun. You know the ones that would burn us to a crisp, make us look like we have all spent way too much time at the beach. All brown and leathery. But I am wiggling my toes in the sand too much…
The ozone touches us in the strangest ways. Like this morning. I am in the throes of tax time and let’s just say we are not short formers. I have heaps of stuff here and piles of stuff there. Towards the end of my gathering I begin to bundle the heaps and piles. I use rubber bands to band all my heaps and bundles. Not the little flimsy rubber bands—no I use big ole heavy duty, could hold a cruise ship to the dock rubber bands. Next to paper clips, rubber bands are my go to office supply. I do not, however, like the paper clips with the little divots carved into them to make them hold harder. I like the smooth ones that slide on and off of papers like cold butter off a warm knife. But again I am slipping off to the side of the road.
My rubber bands are kept in a desk drawer, in a baggie, under a box of staples, (let’s not talk about chisel pint vs. non chisel pointed staples). My point is that these rubber bands are not out in the sun, getting ozoned into weakness. But as I gathered a medium sized heap of papers and began the winding of rubber band to band those papers the band zapped, snapped and bit me like it was a snake going after a mongoose. The snake usually wins in these moves and the rubber band won too.
It wasn’t like my rubber bands are old or dried out or have been handed down from one family desk to the next family desk, as I admit many things in our desk have been. No these rubber bands are less than a year old. But the rubber isn’t as rubbery as it should be so I got snapped. And good.
Luckily I have a scientific type other half that next gave me a quick rundown on the ozone and lack thereof. Ozone that’s allowed some really bad sun rays to attack my rubber bands. Now my brain, after listening to television talking heads over the years, tells me that the ozone layer is like a cover overhead, covering mother earth. That being said, now I learn that ozone is everywhere. In nooks and crannies. In big spaces and tiny spaces, like inside zip locked closed baggies containing rubber bands in the second drawer down, on the left hand side of my desk, hiding under a box of staples. How could that sneaky ozone find and attack my rubber bands?
In the long run of things it doesn’t matter to me, as I am not a scientist, how the ozone got to what I thought were my protected rubber bands. Alas I say that because it is so overwhelming to think that ozone can get to things that are covered, protected, hidden from sight. If that is so, and apparently it is as proven by the zapping I got from said ozone attacked rubber band earlier this morning, that pretty much all I can do is just rub my arm and move on with my bundling and clipping of piles of papers. But…
I have learned that without even knowing it I am helping the environment by not using aerosol hair spray or any hair spray for the matter. Who knew that my brush and go, not caring about the fly away look of a hair do, was good for the ozone layer! I am helping the environment by not rooting for a volcano to erupt too. Even though the pictures of a volcano erupting are really, really cool to watch. Volcanos erupting are not good for the ozone.
Okay, okay I might still root a little bit to see a volcano erupt. Come on it’s a volcano! But only if the volcano is way away from places where people and animals will not be hurt. I may root for the volcano, but not for the disasters that may occur. I am not an ogre, just a regular lookie-loo that can’t turn away from a sight that if were to happen to me I would be aghast that someone would actually be pulled to watch. Human beings are a perplexing, remarkable gathering of cells.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org