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Friday, January 3, 2014

Who, Pearl? Nope. Haven’t Seen Her Around Lately…

6:32, Thursday morning.

Considering the immense hangover I had New Year’s Day, I’m feeling, on this, The First Day of the New Year Without a Hangover, mostly spry.

Mostly spry.

Smack dab in the middle of Minneapolis’s latest cold snap, I have managed to avoid the out-of-doors for two full days.  At any other time of year, this behavior would be disturbing.  It is not any other time of year, however; and my recent foray into full winter acceptance –growing and/or acquiring a protective layer of fat/fleece/cats, saying "What's for breakfast? What do you say, Piglet?" in a Winnie-ther-Pooh voice – coincides nicely with having drank enough for two on New Year’s Eve.

And so it was with a returned spring in my step that I donned, oh, 450 pounds of clothing, girded my well-padded loins for the below-zero temperatures lurking about my front door, and dove into the pre-dawn horrors of a January morning.

Normally, I am alone at this time of day.  Today, however, there are two men walking a good distance ahead of me.  Surprisingly I catch up with them rather quickly – did they not get the memo about walking briskly on winter mornings?

I am just about to pass them when the one on the right, a man with a gait akin to a three legged wagon, finishes the last of his Coke and then lobs the can onto a neighbor’s front yard.

Silver, red, gleaming in the lamp post’s glow, the can lies on the snow, a testament to incivility and laziness.

I speak without thinking.

“Well what’d you do that for?” I say.  “So somebody will take care of it for you?”

The two men stop, turn around.  They are full grown.  They should know better.

I step into yard, pick up the pop can.  The woman who lives there is elderly.  Her lawn is rarely mowed, her sidewalk is never shoveled.  If I don’t pick this up, it just won’t get picked up.

Neither one of them says a word.

“Local Woman Found Beaten with Empty Coke Can,” the squat, bald man in my head cackles. 

I glare at them, the can in one mittened paw.  One of them steps aside so that I can pass.

I do so, and within 10, 15 steps I am far ahead of them. 

For the rest of the block, and until I cross the street, I can hear them laughing at me.

But there is nothing funny, ladies and gentlemen, about littering.


So there.

49 comments:

Patricia said...

They are full grown. They should know better....

One could say that about you and me.

vanilla said...

You can't beat the idiots all by yourself, but we are proud of your effort to do what you can.

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

Good for you!

Yes, they should know better.

Diane said...

Ooooh! I'm with you, 100%. Once, when Ryan was a baby, we were having a little picnic. I saw a guy throw a whole bag of Burger King garbage out his car window at a light. I picked up my baby, ran over there, picked up that bag, and threw it right back in his open window. I was so mad and he was so shocked. He just drove off, looking completely discombobulated (and covered in the remains of his milkshake). I HOPE he went straight to a garbage can!

Camille said...


The lazy Bastards. Good for you Pearl.

About a month ago, while walking the pups, I watched a neighbor toss a giant cup of day old Dunkin Donuts out of his car window onto the middle of the street...splat. Picked it up, walked it back over to his house and with pleasure, threw it onto his front doorstep. Splat, right back atcha bunky.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Oh - littering! It makes me crazy. Those hooligans. Don't they know it makes the Native American man on the side of the highway cry?
(Or am I just showing my age here?)
Good job, Pearlie.

ellen abbott said...

good for you. probably won't stop them from doing it again. I hate littering and people should not be able to get away with it without being called out. I used to play volleyball on Saturdays with a group, many of whom smoked and threw their butts on the ground, people who wouldn't throw trash on the ground. I started bringing a coffee can for their butts and badgered them into using it.

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! You know, if you played ASSASSINS' CREED: BLACK FLAG, you could learn to kill them both without breaking step. And you could do it while dressed as a pirate! You'd totally rock the hat and boots! ARRRR! Roth x

Delores said...

Should have taken a picture of them and posted it somewhere where it could go viral....idiots. You're a brave girl to speak up.

Far Side of Fifty said...

The bums anyway, their Mothers would be horrified:)

Buttons said...

Oh Pearl you are my Hero even though that is a little scary even for me who wanders with the bears and coyotes but they don't litter:) Keep warm. B

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

You are awesome, even if you do risk life and limb from time to time. And really, how can they hurt you when you're so well covered with pouffy winter clothing?

Silliyak said...

Retort might have been "Bum found with can in bum" (a new Xmas carol "Oh can in Bum oh can in bum, how did you get there can in bum...") The heat/drought must be getting to me here in Northern California)

joeh said...

Good for you, but perhaps you should listen to the squat, bald man in your head a little more often.

Marie said...

Good for you! People think it's tough and sassy to just toss a can, particularly males in the company of other males. We have a deposit on cans and bottles here, but people still drop them everywhere.

I walk my dog with a friend every morning and we started picking up the cans along our route each day. We collect at least a dozen every day and sometimes more, which we cash in at the grocery store and buy dog treats for the three dogs. We figure we wouldn't be out walking if it wasn't for them, so they might as well enjoy the bounty as well.

Last week, we happened to pass a small corner shop when five teenage boys came out, each drinking a can of Red Bull. We watched as one after the other, they drank then tossed the cans in the gutter as they walked home. We followed after them of course :-) But what an attitude!

Sioux said...

Pearl. Cleaner of graffiti. Collector of litter.

(I'm glad your hang-over is over.)

jenny_o said...

What? You actually expect a grown man to carry - CARRY, I say - an empty aluminum can ALL the way to his destination? Tsk.

:)

Esther Montgomery said...

Once came across people posting rubbish out of a car window into the kerb. I posted it back in to them. It was a very rough neighbourhood. Maybe it was not a good idea. But I got away with it and, like you, find such actions instinctive rather than thought through.

Incidentally, I'm quite patriotic when it comes to the difference between English English and American English. But the exception is 'dove'. As the past tense of 'dive' it's a beautiful word. I wish we could commandeer it and use it instead of our ugly and wrong-sounding 'dived'.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Strewth Pearl - are you thinking by emulating the Michelin Man that things thrown will just bounce off you? Talk about walking a tightrope. Take care gal.

But well done. You are LitterSuperPuff, our heroine...

YAM xx

The Geezers said...

I hate people like that. And the people who think their damn cigarette butts are fully biodegradable and should be thrown from car windows. And the lazy slobs at movie theaters who can't be bothered to carry their popcorn bags to the trash bins after the movies. And.....

I guess the cold snap is affecting me more than I thought.

Geo. said...

Brava! In fair weather or foul, you are decidedly alert.

Daisy said...

The world seems full of jackasses in human form. We have them - litter while there is a trash can right THERE (maybe they are blind?) - able bodied occupiers of handicapped spaces at the grocery store - deniers of their dog's poop in the middle of the sidewalk, etc. At least with the can and bottle litter, we can trade them in for the deposit.

Drives me nuts! Thanks for picking up the idiot's can. Glad your hangover was of short duration (obviously the cats weren't with you or you would have drunk more) and most of all....Happy 2014!

Eileen Black said...

A Coke can is a poor weapon and you know you could out run them. If they were laughing I'll bet it was an ashamed and nervous laugh. Well Done, you.

Shelly said...

Here in Texas, one of the big anti-littering slogans is Don't Mess With Texas. Even better: Don't Mess With Pearl.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ya shoulda jammed that can in his you-know-what.

Silliyak said...

BTW for a picture of my NYE beach cleaning, go to my website. Included was a scuba glove that I found a forever home for when I mentioned it on FB.

Gigi said...

My first thought when I read "...and then lobs the can..." was OH NO HE DIDN'T!!

And you did not disappoint with your response.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Litterers and non recyclers should be punished by the fullest extent of (MY) the law. Oye. They are bad people...and you are a BRAVE woman!!!!!! Perhaps with the 450lbs of clothing, they thought you were a sumo wrestler??? LOL
XO

fishducky said...

You are my hero, Pearl!! I will NOT litter, & I don't let anyone in my family litter, either!!

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

"The squat bald man in my head" still has me giggling. Littering, however, is never funny and I just don't get it.

Elephant's Child said...

How right you were. How right you are.
And how wrong they were.

Pauline said...

What? You didn't beat the fellow about the head with his can? Drop it down the back of his neck? Wind up and heave it back at him? Hand it to the other fellow and tell him to... Pearl, Pearl. At the very least, a citizen's arrest for littering? No, I probably wouldn't have either but I sure wish I had the chutzpah to do it ;)

Joanne Noragon said...

Way back in my college days (the turn of the sixties) my best friend threw all her litter on the ground. To my horror; I was raised by strict "leave it cleaner than you found it" parents. I asked her why. "I'm helping the economy," she replied, pointing to one of the many groundskeepers patrolling with his bag and pointy stick. I always wondered if she deduced that on her own, or was raised to believe it.

Jayne Martin said...

Good for you! Assholes. And who drinks cold soda in sub-zero temperatures? May their dicks freeze and fall off.

Rose L said...

Call a local environmentalist group and turn them in!! I hate people who feel that someone else should always clean up after them. Feel sorry for his wife (if she is still tolerating him).

River said...

I once came upon my neighbour and her two year old daughter while out shopping, I babysat the girl Mon-Fri, the girl was walking with her mum and dropping sweets wrappers, so I stopped them and made her pick them up and place them in a nearby bin, just like I would have at home Mon-Fri. As the mum thanked me for reminding her, I wondered why she wasn't teaching her daughter not to litter.

Linda O'Connell said...

I think I'd have slung at one of their heads. Good for you, Pearl!

Slick said...

Ya did good Pearl!

Mama taught us better and I'll cram my trash in my pockets or purse before I leave it for someone else to clean up.

The worst has to be used baby diapers left in shopping carts and thrown down in parking lots.

Launna said...

Some people can be so rude Pearl... I don't how you contained yourself... I probably couldn't have ... :-/

Daisy said...

Pearl, you are a brave soul with a heart of gold. The world needs more like you!

savannah said...

good on you, sugar! xoxoxoxo

Jocelyn said...

Who knew it could happen, but I am a million times more in love with you now.

YES.

What an effing pisser, and what a couple of juveniles. Count yourself lucky not to be hooked into a meaningful relationship with either of them.

sage said...

At that temperature, I'd thought the coke can would have froze to his lips. Glad you set them right and made it out safely!

HermanTurnip said...

"Considering the immense hangover I had New Year’s Day" Ah ha! So that's what happened to you. I was wondering where the posts had gone ;-)

Here's hoping that you're staying warm by sipping hot toddies with the felines.

Suldog said...

You did the right thing and they are louts. Rewards come in two flavors, and both you and they will get one.

Mel said...

Good for you! I loathe littering and rudeness. Some people just weren't raised right, were they? Saddest of all they will probably just go right on littering, but I bet they'll look behind them before they do to be sure you're not back there :)


Pat Tillett said...

You are a good citizen Pearl!
I probably would have insisted that the guy who threw it, go back and pick it up.

Perpetua said...

he obviously wasn't brought up by a mother who would never, never let him drop so much as a sweet wrapper in the street. At the age of 67 I still can't bring myself to drop any litter. Mind you if I ever did I'd be terrified your British counterpart would jump out and shame me by picking it up in front of me!

Your're a brave woman, Pearl, and a splendid citizen.

Diane Tolley said...

Litterbug, Litterbug, shame on you! Look at the terrible things you do!
I could go on . . .