I hope no one is playing poker with this Incredibles deck, because I have the five of hearts from this morning’s litter haul.
I have great respect for firemen, and the volunteer firemen of Skaneateles in particular, and I hope that next year their fund-raiser is a bridge tournament, rather than a carnival directly across the street from my house. More specifically, I hope their carnival is not followed by a holiday, during which the workers of the Village and Town are absent from our streets and fields, which are left strewn with litter of every description. This morning, I was faced with the choice of either looking at trash all day, or picking it up myself, and I chose the latter. For two hours, dragging bags and boxes across Austin Park, I picked up cans, plastic bottles, paper cups, necklaces of stars and beads in blue and red, wadded napkins, paper French fry boats coated with ketchup, paper plates that once held “Elephant Ears” or “Funnel Cakes,” clots of black electrician’s tape, lipstick, lip gloss, cigarette packs, butane lighters, an empty blister-pack that once held a pill for the treatment of diarrhea, candy wrappers, exploded and limp inflatable toys, dead balloons, and special treasures like five, count ‘em, five loaded diapers, plus wipes, and tissues used to wipe someone’s soiled butt. There was an empty box that once held three “snug fit” Lifestyles condoms; my sincere “thank you” goes to whoever disposed of the contents elsewhere. There was also a Goodyear “VIVA 2″ tire, well-trodden campaign literature from some aspirant to elected office, a geography textbook from someone who couldn’t find a wastebasket, a pair of truly ugly yellow athletic shoes, a roll of paper towels soaked in motor oil, five blue plastic motor oil bottles, imported cups from merchants such as Taco Bell, MacDonald’s and Burger King, a New York State Fair program, a sippy cup, a pacifier (green), a garbage bag holding an empty champagne bottle, a pizza box, a broken Bud Light bottle (light beer is still the universal beer of litterers), one dime, one nickel and four pennies. I kept the cash for myself.
In a gated golfing community in North Carolina: laminated instructions on how to set a small animal trap; a Full Throttle energy drink can; a Top Flite 1 golf ball, “Straight”; an envelope addressed to someone in Virginia (which I mailed); plastic wrap; a soggy newspaper; a Dr. Pepper can; tinfoil; a shredded Pepsi can; a flattened Sprite can; a bungee cord (no doubt lost rather than littered, a distinction for which I have been taken to task in the past).