Friday, November 19, 2010

America, America, Man Sheds His Waste on Thee

We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to.
— Terri Swearingen
Keep Our Butts Beautiful —Bumper Sticker seen in Jackson, Georgia

You people should be ashamed of yourselves. The guilty know who they are. Those of you who are not guilty, feel free to join me in chastising those who are, because this affects all of us.
I’m taking a break from healthcare and other political issues to focus on something that really hit me hard this week. While taking a little five mile walk between Jackson and Flovilla, training for a planned cross country trek next year, I noticed that there were an awful lot of soda bottles and cans in the ditches along Highways 87 and then 42. As I looked a little closer I could not believe the absolutely massive amounts of trash that people throw out of their cars and trucks, and it’s not just cans and bottles I am referring to, but the entire gamut of garbage. There were pieces of furniture, old baseballs, food, an entire rotisserie chicken, still in its bag, various birth control devices, (and on the other side of that topic several dirty diapers), syringes, little baggies that I hear are used for packaging marijuana (these must have blown in from Griffin, since I have it on good authority that no one in Jackson smokes the evil weed), various business signs that have toppled, rotted and were never re-erected, cups, plastic bags from stores that are not even in Butts County, medicine bottles, clothing, shoes, hats, auto parts, tools (thanks for the wrench, whoever threw it in the grass near American Woodmark), broken plastic pieces that could have been anything, and much more general refuse and junk.
It is understandable that on occasion napkins and pieces of paper will inadvertently blow out of a car window when a passing truck stirs up the air, but they usually break down when it rains. (A note to the state: those losing scratch-off lottery tickets need to be made of a less hearty paper—there were more of them blowing around than any other single item I saw). The junk I passed was deliberately tossed out.
I have also noticed many times that cars and trucks will pull up in store parking lots and even in front of restaurants, doors will open, fast food soda cups and containers and bags will be covertly deposited on the asphalt, while a trash can often sits feet away. Are we that lazy that we can’t be bothered to dispose of our refuse the proper way? I can’t count the times I have gone shopping, and in the store’s parking lot not seen at least one folded up and taped up dirty diaper. To me this is the nastiest act of all, and all I can say is, “You know who you are, and you are a pig.”
I realize that inmates from the prisons are trotted out every so often to clean up the garbage, but, in truth it is not their job to pick up after non-incarcerated slobs. It is the duty of every American, not just in Georgia, but everywhere, to be responsible citizens. That is what we allegedly teach our children in school and at home. What kind of example are we setting by opening the window and tossing our trash out on the highway? A dog won’t soil where it lives, but people do. Who is more evolved?
Beautiful Butts is beginning to look more like butt-ugly to me.

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