What is it about garbage that makes us treat our neighbours like rubbish?
We live just up the road from a coffee shop, which is usually a pleasant convenience, except every now and then, people strolling up Springfield Road on our neighbourhood's garbage and recycling pick-up day would toss their half-full coffee cups into our empty garbage can after the trucks had been by. It was neither fun nor particularly easy to retrieve soggy cardboard cups from the bottom of the receptacle and then rinse the coffee out. After a couple of times, I made sure to get our containers away from the sidewalk as soon as they were empty to foil coffee-tossers or dog-poop disposers. (Actually, I'm flummoxed by the number of dog-owners who leave their used poop bags on the edge, and sometimes on, the sidewalk. Why? Why would they bother to bag it up then just leave it? Do they think someone else will pick it up? I suppose so. No one's gonna pick it up, sunshine.)
This rather spoiled the mood of goodwill and tranquility I'd worked hard to establish after waking.
I guess the thinking (if any thinking were involved), goes something like this: "It's a garbage can; so it's okay to put my trash in it 'cause then I'm not littering, see?"
They don't care, of course, that other people - like me, for example - have to pick up the disgusting slop-overs that didn't make it into the truck because their gift to us was in three (three!) flimsy and open bags. Why? Because I'm not a friend, family member or acquaintance of this dumper and therefore don't matter.
While the Resident Fan Boy and I were steaming, we recalled a morning a few years back when we left an ancient, defunct and very heavy TV set by the curb for pick-up. It had disappeared by daybreak and then - get this - whoever had taken it discovered that there was a reason we were throwing it out and returned it to the curb in front of our house the next morning. We were forced to lug the weighty bit of junk into the garage, wait for the next pickup in two weeks' time as it was winter, and set it out again, this time with a large sign reading "BROKEN - This television does NOT work".
Such crap is not limited to Hades. When we lived in Victoria, we had a picket fence around our tiny front lawn which evidently caused passersby to mistake our yard for a wastebasket.
I've said something like this before: if we treat people we don't know as if they don't matter because we don't know them, then there is little hope for us. The world is simply getting too small.
All of which means, I suppose, that I shouldn't fantasize about tossing these miscreants down the garbage shute like Veruca Salt, but heck, this was the one song I really liked from the 2005 version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It's very Beach-Boy-ish, as in Pet Sounds. It's also a firm favourite with younger daughter, who dressed up as Veruca Salt (pre-garbage-shute) a few Hallowe'ens back:
Or I can vent my rage like The Cramps. I know I've posted this song before, but I can't resist. Take it away, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy.
Just take it away.