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Pent up demand, the hanging judge and Sisyphus …

I was out of the city and away from my pampered path for a couple of weekends. The rational mind would deduce that the more days without an attentive picker upper, the more trash would accumulate.

The answer would be a definitive ‘yes.’ As in ‘Yes, there is one helluva lot more trash.’

So this past Saturday would be a big day, a day of pent up demand. The littering scofflaws try to get by with an urban version of axe murder, and along comes the roadside version of the hanging judge. That’s me. If these goofs cowered before me in Litterer’s Court (move over, Judge Judy) there would be straight hell to pay. Every time there was a work crew to pick up some road median in Charlotte, they’d be on it. And like Sisyphus, they’d be eternally sentenced to walk around blocks I would assign – and when they were within mere steps of completing their path pick up – oops, around they’d trudge again. And again.

Sisyphus and I are both paying a different kind of penance. His is a rock, mine is a bag

Sisyphus and I are both paying a different kind of penance. His is a rock, mine is a bag

Unable to sleep and wait any longer, I was out the door at 5:07 a.m., armed with two bags  and fully expecting both to be stretched full by the end of the 90 minute session. It was nearly a called shot. By the time I got half way (near Philips Place) bag #1 was jammed so backup bag #2 went into service. And pretty soon, it was stretched to the max, too.

Actually, I can sort of identify with Sisyphus. He’s a kindred spirit. His sentence was largely uphill; mine is mostly flat but feels like an entirely on an incline. Where the Greek had his rock, I have my trash. I guess it is that means we’re both sentenced to eternal suffering, him with his infernal stone, me with my God-awful litter.

Move over, scofflaws. The judge is coming through.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; the first on 17 years of writing weekly letters to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility ( I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen these single pagers as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world and so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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