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‘Altered mental state’ … with no thanks to Jack Daniels and his partner Jimmy Beam

No, that headline doesn’t pertain to me (although I most certainly have my moments).


Every once in a while in the course of picking up junk, I come across personal correspondence.

I can’t help but read some of it. Found a few years ago was a short, emotionless love letter (the corner of a $1 bill peeked out of the folded letter tucked inside an open envelope. What the dollar signified remains unknown although $10 or $20 might have been more effective or at least better for me). Not unusual to find are written attempts to collect a debt. Then there was the note from a mother imploring her daughter to keep her room clean. That the daughter pitched aside the handwritten plea apparently showed what she thought of the parental advice.

This morning (6:18 departure) revealed a different sort of message.

Sticking out like a sore thumb on the other side of car-free Fairview Road was a large white plastic bag. I crossed the six lanes and found, inside the Carolinas Healthcare System bag, a half empty Gatorade bottle – and discharge papers.

It seems a Mr. White had a difficult Friday night. He had been admitted as a patient to the emergency room, the front door of which wasn’t 75 feet from where I stood. How that bag and its contents ended up along the adjacent sidewalk remains a mystery. A quick scan revealed everything I needed to see. The unfortunate patient had apparently gone off the deep end with his good friends Jack Daniels and Jimmy Beam. img_3291.jpgYeah, that’s total guesswork on my part but at the instant of discovery as to the nature of the ER visit the familiar George Thorogood song (I drink alone) popped into my mind. We can only hope Mr. White’s morning is better than his evening bender.

What all of this signifies is that when it comes to the world of trash and litter, you come across a surprise now and then. I can only imagine the attending physician’s final words of advice: ‘Take a few Advil and sleep this one off.’

About Dave Bradley (254 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter 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 letters 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 so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' 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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