Skip to content


Daniel Velez
Daniel Velez
3 min read

I work at the university which is another way of saying I'm poor but comfortable. When I saw that Jerry Seinfeld was playing in Phoenix, I bought the cheapest ticket I could find from Seat Geek. The seat was partially inside a wall. I'll try to explain.

I arrived at the theatre fashionably late. Another comic opened for Jerry and the lights were off. I climbed millions of stairs and got to my seat, out of breath, and a man was sitting there. I didn't want to call him out because I wasn't sure if this was my section. I asked the usher for help. She pointed her flashlight to the ground, the universal signal for, I'm in charge in this dark room. The crowd laughed at a, I'm dating girls twice my age, joke (“You’re old enough to be her dad!” “But I'm not, so what's the point?”). The usher pointed her flashlight at the Pillsbury Doughboy in my seat. "Ah! I got you!" I thought. He stood up and revealed a seat next to his which was a shock to me. I thought he was in the last seat of the row because he was next to the wall and, to my surprise, there was a seat that was 1/4 in the wall and 3/4 out of it. It was like being in an airplane and finding out your seat was on the plane's wing (is this even safe?). It didn't help that the man's body leaked into the next seat. I did the awkward crab-walk to my seat and the patrons did the awkward knee-to-the-side move to make space for me. I judged them for not standing up, pushing their folding chair in, and taking a step back - the best way of making room. They judged me for arriving late. Halfway through this encounter, the man commented, "It's gonna be a tight squeeze." I got to my seat and noticed a cutout in the wall. One would think it's for aesthetics but, it exists so that you can tuck your left shoulder in it, resulting in your head being millimeters next to the wall. Any sudden turn to my left would have resulted in a bloody nose – making these literally nosebleed seats.

I can’t complain. I got to see a good show for a great price and, best of all, I get to retell a Jerry Seinfeld trash joke:

Levels of Trash by Jerry Seinfeld. Retold by Daniel.

Everything we buy is destined for the trash can. It would be more convenient if department stores put a trash can next to the checkout counter. That way, we can buy things, pivot, and drop them in the trash.

Due to the lack of this innovation, we have to go through a series of actions that just prolong the inevitable.

Level 1: The living room. The prime days of all frivolous purchases. The living room exists to show off your trinkets, impulsive purchases, and other bad decisions. Once you've come to your senses, this idiotic decision you made will move on to the next level. Level 2: The cabinet. You no longer want to show off this thing you bought, but you don't have the heart to get rid of it. So you put it in the cabinet and a couple of times a year, when you're looking for something else, this pointless purchase appears. It might surprise you, scare you even. When you see it you'll question yourself, "What did I get that for?"

Level 3: The garage. Now instead of seeing this thing a couple of times a year, you'll only see it once every few years. The garage turns shiny foolish things into trash. In the cabinet, things are safe. In the garage, things get dusty, dirty, grimy. Your stupid purchase is now next to lawnmowers that haven't worked since the Clinton administration and the trash can you wheel out to the curb once a week. However, some people delay even further and take a sad, sad detour.

Level 4: Storage. The storage is a sort of prison for your poor choices. You visit them a couple of times a year and lie to them. You make promises you know you can’t keep, such as, “I’ll get you out of here. I promise.”

These things we buy, although frivolous and surely not good for the environment, at least act like they're useful for some time. Single-use packaging does not perform this perfunctory dance; it's straight-up trash as soon as we get it and we know it. We ought to be reusing packaging. I mean, "Cooome ooon!"


Daniel Velez Twitter

Daniel is building the future of reuse. His last venture, Growly Delivers, delivered local beer in returnable high-tech growlers. What will he do next?


Related Posts

Members Public

The Greatest Theft in the History of the World—Brought to you by OpenAI

AI take trends from quintillions of bytes of blogs, tweets, Reddit threads, and uploaded images and make something appear new, but—this is really important—it can only ever be a derivative, or combinations of derivatives, of other work.

Members Public

The GOP Climate Change Strategy is Obvious and Not Very Good

When the droughts become too severe, the wildfires too vast, and the change in temperatures too extreme, Republicans will choose the adaptation strategy.

Members Public

Would it Kill Environmentalists to be a Little Nicer?

Why are environmentalists no fun?