Friday, January 31, 2014

House by the side of the road

When in elementary school a couple or so years, or eons, ago, I was required to learn a poem, and, along with the rest of the class, stand in front and recite it.  Written by Sam Walter Foss, it is a nice little ditty about whatever you want it to be about, but it probably has something to do with living and letting live...and trying to do so without being judgmental.  It stuck with me all my life because it had something of a casual romantic flair to it.  It awakened the good neighbor in me.  And I suppose the voyeur as well.  The last verse:

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. 

Well, okay then.  Let's replace the romanticism with some realism.  You see, I live in a house by the side of the road and it is sometimes really difficult not to scorn and be cynical.  On any given day, I can collect a Walmart bag or two of trash from the ditch in front of my pasture, leading me to marvel at the large percentage of human beings who think nothing of rolling down their window and flinging out of it whatever is within reach.  Here's some things I've learned about my fellow man (and woman):

  • McDonald's wins the favorite fast food contest, with Hardee's a close second.
  • Marlboro Lights are the cigarette of choice and it appears that lots of folks manage to fish the last one out of the pack just in front of my house, gifting me with the empty box.
  • Lotto scratch-offs are extremely popular with these Kings and Queens of Litter and there are plenty of losing cards which are apparently scratched off simultaneous to driving (and, most likely, texting).
  • Beer of choice:  why Bud Light of course!  What were you thinking?  Is there any  better brew to enhance the fine, succulent draw of a Marlboro Light?
  • Paper or plastic?  Plastic by a landslide!  I've grown to appreciate the fact that these piglets (my apologies to the porcine community) at least toss Walmart bags out with the rest of their trash.  Failing to do so would require me to trudge up to my house and provide my own Walmart bag in order to collect their treasure trove of trash.
  • Soft drink?  Or "soda" to you northern transplants.  Come on...take a know you know.  It's pretty much a no-brainer.  Got it yet?  Yep...Mountain Dew!  Probably regular Mountain Dew two to one over Diet Mountain Dew.  And the big 20 ouncers at that.  Which begs the question:  why buy 20 ounces when you leave four or five ounces in the non-biodegradable plastic bottle when you toss it in my ditch?  Go for the 16 ounce and save yourself a few cents.  It'll add up and you can upgrade to Zaxby's for lunch sometime.

There's other little treasures also.  Chunks of plastic that only God knows what they came from.  Dead cigarette lighters.  Money order receipts.  Empty cans of "smokeless tobacco."  Found a sock the other day.  Lady's sock...dark blue...looked to be fairly new.  Haven't found any money yet.  Guess spare change goes in the ashtray because I know the butts don't.  They come out the window.

So to my "friends" out there who go by my house daily - be you good, bad, weak, or strong, be you wise or foolish (I'm being kind here giving you a choice), do me a favor.  Don't feed my cynicism any further.  Take my word for it.  If cynicism was gold, I'd be King Midas.  Don't make me lounge carelessly in the scorner's seat.  Just keep your damn window rolled up when you pass my house, resist the urge to be a scourge to society, and wait until you get home and put your trash where it belongs.

On your living room floor.

Update 2/1/2014:  Look out Bud Light...competition moving in.  Congrats, had all the fast food trash in the ditch today except for one Arby's box.  Here's a little photo library of the treasures the classy folks donate.

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