OK, so I was born in the 70’s, and I remember growing up watching the Crying Indian commercials, so suffice it to say I’m very clear on the concept that litter is bad. Now, I realize they stopped running those commercials in the 80s, so not everyone had the benefit of this clear lesson.
However, whenever I’ve driven through the suburbs, I’ve not noticed people chucking their trash on their neighbor’s lawn. I haven’t seen (well, in most places) furniture piled up on the sidewalks, or tires under the mailbox.
It is curious to me then that an epidemic seems to sweeping the nation of people dumping all kinds of crap out here in the country. On the route I take from my house to the freeway, I have seen dumped in the last year: several mattresses and box springs, tires, cars, a couch, a chest of drawers, several stuffed chairs, a desk, lumber scraps, a canoe and kayak, bags of garbage of every size and shape, and the piece de resistance: A Boat. I’m not kidding. It wasn’t a yacht or anything, but it was about 25 feet long, and would have made for a very comfortable day of open ocean fishing. And, because the universe loves irony, after it had sat on the side of the road for about a week, someone filled up the inside with a bunch of mattresses and box springs. (Thanks to budget cuts, it now takes about a month for these items to get removed by the county).
Now, while I like to make jokes about being in the Outback, the truth is we really aren’t that remote. (Really Mom and Dad, we’re not) At almost every section of my road, a house or houses are clearly visible. The preferred dumping spots are on the side of the road where there is some tree cover from the sight line of a house, but truly there is no way you wouldn’t know you’re dumping your boat on someone’s front yard. Yeah, maybe their front yard is 20 acres, but it’s still their yard.
Depending on my mood, I go back and forth between thinking the dumpers are just that stupid, or thinking they are that nasty. It’s hard not to take it personally, or think it’s done on purpose. But maybe they are that dumb.
Either way, I hereby declare war. Or at least, “deterrence” as they used to say in the Cold War days. If the suburbanites think it’s OK to leave their barcalounger in my drainage ditch, then the next time I need to spread my manure maybe I’ll just crank up the John Deere and head for the nearest subdivision.
Hey, at least what I bring them will fertilize their lawns.