It’s no secret that I harbor a loathing for slobs and nitwits who defile our public byways with their slovenly litterbug habits. If you follow this space even infrequently you are aware of such sentiments.
But generally speaking, I pick up their trash, mutter a mild profanity and move on.
Not this Saturday morning. Today I am on full boil.
In truth, I lit the fuse to this early morning time bomb; as is my routine in the kitchen darkness, I hastily grabbed a plastic bag out of the pantry, jammed it in my pants pocket and slid out the door with my go-cup of hot coffee at 6 a.m. sharp.
Only when I came across an empty pack of Marlboros did I realize my error. The bag was actually two of the plastic sleeves that Ruthie, my Charlotte Observer delivery person, often uses to sling the paper onto my porch. The narrow bags will be tough to fill and can’t possibly handle the volume of a normal haul of trash.
A few yards later comes my first beer can, one of those Budweiser Tall Boys. A few yards later is a mini bottle, flattened, of Bacardi, and in a few more feet is a Little Debbie Snacking Cake plastic bag that held a sugary something-or-other. I envision that the donuts or cupcake or whatever were eaten by some overweight perp.
Now I’m hot. There will be no turning down my thermometer. I am beyond containment. What really frosted me was this; not 14 hours before I had covered this very path and how in the hell can there already be this much shit to be picked up? There is crushed Bud Light can resting along a curb, plastic bags snared on bushes, a chunk of polystyrene on a storm grate, a half full Big Gulp plastic cup on the median that splits Fairview Road, a split in half McDonalds polystyrene cup in the Burger King parking lot, half of a Chick-Fil-A polystyrene cup blowing along Sharon Road, a Wendy’s wrapper weighed down by a half eaten burger, and more plastic parts strewn about from who knows how many fender benders. My hands are sticky from emptying and stowing sugary drinks. And I’ve spilled my precious coffee on my coat sleeve as I wrestle with jamming more crap into the already-filled bags.
Every fifth word – or is it every third? – is an F-bomb. Not even the sweet chirps of birds placates me. I grow angrier with each step and with each damned bit of junk.
Maybe all this anger is pent-up and perhaps it was time – or maybe I deserved – to blow a gasket. Yet I can’t say it felt good to vent. I was just one pissed off guy.
Not even a fresh cup of joe calms me down as I sit on the couch to write this post. I’ll stay pissed for some while longer. What bugs me is knowing that Sunday morning there will be more trash, more litter, more shit to be picked up. We can only hope there is no match to light tomorrow’s fuse.