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Yammering at fools …

There is no inherent joy in picking up trash; “Gee, another swell piece of litter to pick up” – said no one, ever.

The urge to pick up trash is a cruel addiction. 

And some days – even Earth Day – it just plain pisses me off. This was one of those weekend mornings when, for whatever reasons, I stepped out the door angry and agitated. And the pissy mood never got any better, never lightened up, never improved.

I dunno. Maybe in part it was in knowing (from a slow recon stroll the day before) what lay on the ground awaiting me. Walking is supposed to be part of my rehab but not stooping and bending. I’m pissed that I couldn’t help myself, that I didn’t have the self discipline to leave home without a bag.

My silent anger went verbal soon enough; I started to bark at the first Chick-fil-A polystyrene cup not 400 yards into my walk and went into full-bore rage-mode not too much further at the discovery of another poly cup.

Normally I go about my business in a businesslike way. Not this morning. I began to yammer at fools long escaped from the scene of their trash crime(s). Why me, Lord?

And that was just a warm up act.

I was pissed, for the thousandth time, that I have pick up after slobs. Increasingly pissed that I make no palpable difference beyond my same, staid little one-lap circuit knowing there are tons of litter to be picked up elsewhere in Charlotte – and Detroit and Seattle and Miami and Des Moines and Phoenix. Pissed that Pick Up Your Path hasn’t gained a full head of supportive steam among other trash-minded citizens and that I’ve no clue how to promote it or make it bigger or more relevant or appealing. Pissed that I have to waste next weekend in Washington, D.C. to protest the anti-earth actions and policies of a nabob president and his aligned yokels. Pissed that this necessary evil is the best I can do on Earth Day.


Perhaps I have good reason to be pissed off. It’s scenes like this – day after stinking day – that might be pushing me to some sort of brink.

Perhaps there’s a breaking point along the line somewhere, a juncture when I finally give in to the pro-trash gods and the incessant tide of more-litter-every-day. Maybe then I can absolve myself of responsibility and guilt and simply wipe my hands of litter once and for all and just let things go.

Mercifully, I have no other known addictions or compulsions. Maybe my senses will return to normalcy tomorrow and I can go about this business without bitching and griping and whining. But that’s tomorrow. This is today.

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.

1 Comment on Yammering at fools …

  1. I live in a predominantly black neighborhood and at the rate my street gets trashed it is definitely “Black Trash Matters!” The City Code Enforcement Department is a waste of tax money.

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