I was reading my friend San Diego Momma’s blog a few weeks back and was thrilled when I came to a comment in which she mentioned the name of her pretend band. Thrilled because I realized that I am not the only person
weird special enough to come up with a name for a band that doesn’t, and probably won’t ever, exist. Though in hindsight, I am almost certain San Diego Momma was making a joke, so maybe I am the only person weird special enough to do this…
Regardless, my pretend band’s name does exist and it is: Garbage Barge. I came up with the name way back in 1987, while I was a student at the University of Georgia. Well before the not-pretend band, Garbage, was formed. I had the idea for that name because of an event that caused quite a stir nationwide. An event that involved–not surprisingly–a garbage laden barge.
Flashback~Forget About it-The voyage of the garbage barge.
In case you don’t remember, here’s how it went down:
…a tugboat named the Break of Dawn sailed out of New York Harbor pulling a barge full of Long Island’s finest trash. Piloted by Duffy St. Pierre, the trip was supposed to be a simple shipment of trash to a southern landfill. Instead, Mobro 4000 (the barge’s real name) became a modern day Flying Dutchman, wandering from port to port but never allowed to stay and unload.
The garbage barge wasn’t just redolent with remarkable names. The misbegotten cruise quickly became a media sensation. The economy was hot, and news was slow. Garbage, which is just the effluence of our affluence, was the perfect target. Greenpeace, Phil Donahue and Johnny Carson all used the barge as fodder. Six months after it sailed, the garbage barge’s trash was burned in a Brooklyn incinerator, and the ashes buried back in Long Island. The media didn’t attend the funeral.
After the circus was over, the barge had a profound impact on solid waste and recycling. Within three years, most states passed laws requiring some kind of municipal recycling. The United States went from about 600 cities with curbside recycling programs to almost 10,000. Our recycling rate is three times higher now than it was in 1987…
Pretty cool that recycling practices changed because of the barge no one wanted. And, while I didn’t use the name for a real band, turns out someone else did and apparently they have a song called, “Choke and Molest.” So, yeah, now I am not feeling quite so good about my choice for a pretend band name…But wait! Good news! Someone else took the name (and the story) and turned it into what looks like a really cool children’s book. If you have kids aged 4-8 and want to teach them about recycling and waste, you might want to check this book out.
What’s the name of your pretend band? Come on, I know you have at least one… And, while we are at it, what are some of your favorite real band names? The Talking Heads, Eek-A-Mouse (though technically he’s not a band) and They Might Be Giants are among mine.