Sunday, April 01, 2007

Trash Talk

I've started commuting to work via car. Seems it's cheaper to go with free parking than risk a $25 ticket every day at the Takoma Metro Station and the illogic of their "Seven Hour Meters." (Topic for another posting: How Metro wants us to get out of our greenhouse-gas-emitting cars and onto their earth-friendly transit system, but then makes its ironically unappealing by having seven hour meters with $25 tickets for expired meters in their parking lots. Makes no sense, folks. Hence, my resentful and unconscionable move back into my car.)

As a result of my car-bound, 20-minute commute, I see a lot of things. Bad, stupid-ass driving is what I see most. And, yes, it bugs me. And, no, I'm not the world's best driver, but I try to be courteous and to factor in enough time so as not to have to rush. But I digress. The other thing I see whilst driving and that disturbs me more than the rubber cars slinging and flinging around me are the folks who LITTER.

Litter. You know what that is, right? It's that stuff that, if you were at home, you would throw away in a garbage can or put in your recycling bin. It's that McDonald's cup. It's a candy wrapper. It's the box your disposal camera came in. It's anything you can't eat or use in a practical manner. It's trash. Sometimes, it's a reusable resource. But you fling it out of your car window or casually drop it on the sidewalk or whatever. It's litter. And frankly, it's disgusting and lazy.

If you can't be bothered to hold onto your candy wrapper long enough to get to the next gas station and you just have to toss it out the window, you're a litterer. If you can't muster the energy, let alone the civic pride, to carry your trash that extra 20 steps to a public trash can, you're a litterer. If you think it's okay to just throw it on the ground because the city sweeps up every night or there are neighborhood business-area ambassadors who will pick up and sweep up trash, you're a litterer. And you're lazy.

Littering is about laziness. And it's about a lack of pride and respect for your surroundings. In the case of my surroundings, THIS IS THE NATION'S CAPITOL, for cripe's sake! Have a little pride. Get off your lazy ass, show a little pride in your city, town, neighborhood, backyard, wherever, and pick up your bleeding trash. Just because it's an urban setting doesn't mean the rules of the wilderness don't apply. In other words, if you hauled it in, haul it out!

This message brought to you by The Crying Indian, Woodsy Owl, and your local Civic Pride booster. (And P.S. I think it's time Keep America Beautiful revive the Crying Indian and for the Forest Service to bring back Woodsy Owl. Until then, though, here, for your collective recall, are The Crying Indian and Woodsy Owl.)



11 comments:

Lesser Being of Leisure said...

I can't understand the litterbug mentality either, and I never, ever do that. I actually met someone this week who actually picks up other peoples' litter (needless to say, I was impressed).

JMK said...

Lesser BOL: Welcome to Rush Hour! Thanks for stopping by. Glad to know I'm not alone in my thinking!

When I lived down on 14th and S Streets NW, I got so fed up with the litter in our neighborhood one day, I actually went out and collected the trash on the entire block. I filled up three trash bags with crap people had dropped in the gutters and the flower beds and in yards.

I remember years ago, being in Portland on business. Walking from the convention center to the hotel, someone in front of us littered. My colleague, a genteel, soft-spoken Southern gentleman, turned to me and said, "Littering is the purview of ill-bred individuals." Amen!!

I'm constantly picking up crap the kids in the neighborhood have dropped in my yard. Ticks me off. Big time!

Okay, climbing down off of soap box now....

Honest said...

I can't believe people litter in this day and age after all the campaigns to brainwash into caring about our surroundings. It honestly burns my toast to see that. I wish folks would just keep it in their car until they get it cleaned if they're so lazy to throw it in a trash can.

Zanne said...

Absolutely right my friend!!
PS
Did you know that you start sounding a tad British when you're truly vexed? ;)

JMK said...

Honest: Amen! Like I said, have a little pride in your surroundings.

Zanne: "Creation Care" or whatever you want to call it, starts at home, right? As for sounding British when I'm vexed, 'tis true. Though I can't explain it. It's possible I'm channeling my great-great grandmother... Who knows?

NG said...

This reminded me of a good friend who would complain to no end about people thowing McDonalds cups out their car windows, but smoked three packs of cigarettes a day and dropped each and every cigarette butt she used onto the ground and walked on by as if it were nothing. She never could quite get me to understand what the difference.

Merujo said...

Amen, mah commuting sistah, aaaaamen!!!

JMK said...

NG: Ironic, isn't it? Whether it's a cigarette butt or a candy wrapper, it's still litter. And it's icky!

Merujo: I say AMEN! Amen!

Gunfighter said...

Oh no you didn't!

You didn't just go "crying indian" on me!

That commercial had a profound effect on me as a kid.

TO this day, I'll carry trash in my pocket until I get to a trash can.

JMK said...

GF: Oh, yes I did. I went Cryin' Indian on you, man! I LOVE that commercial. It's probably the most memorable commercial of the late 70s/early 80s and it's one I wish KAB would run again. Makes me think I need to contact the D.C. chapter and get them movin' on fulfilling their mandate.

I'm like you. I'll put a wrapper in my pocket or carry a bottle until I'm at a place where I can throw it away or recycle it properly. I just don't get littering. Don't get it. And I don't expect to.

Terri said...

I remember that "cryin indian" as well... I was a little girl when it was all over the TV...

Even up there in Beaver, Utah..
people just throw their trash out the window ... makes me ill ...

my husband and I spent hours one Saturday, driving on our ATV's , picking up trash....

a month later.. you would have never known that we had done that...