By John R. Greenwood
It’s the second day of Spring 2020 and I needed to un-Covid-19 myself. The stress of the last few weeks had grabbed me by the throat and threatened to choke me. Whenever this happens I go running to my mother. Mother Nature has taken the place of mom’s attentive ear. Because mom is now busy tending to dad high above, she sometimes delegates her co-mother to fill in when she knows fresh air and the smell of pine needles is what I need most. So like a good son, I grabbed a hoodie and headed out the backdoor. A walk up the road is always a good starting point. I was just fifty feet from the end of my driveway when I spotted two empty beer cans, a soggy cigarette pack, and McDonald’s soda cup. I turned in my tracks and went back to the garage to grab a large shopping bag to collect road trash in. It was one of those gigantic plastic ones with handles. I thought it would be easier to carry than a trash bag and it would hold plenty. Wrong! I was still close enough to hit my garage with a rock and the bag was already half full. I figured if I did end up filling it I would leave it and pick it up on the return trip. My relaxing hike turned uglier the further I went. By the time I got to a grove of pines halfway down my road I was looking at dozens and dozens of single serve plastic wine bottles strewn as far as I could see. You can read my fall 2018 rant about this issue here: I'll Drive You To Drink
My relaxing walk had turned Covid-like. The vision of someone winging their drinking problem out the window and on to the roadside cranked me up like a BJ’s shopper watching someone buy (2) 32-Pack’s of Charmin during a pandemic.
I regained my composure and filled my liquor-bag to the brim. By now I was drenched in perspiration and wine fumes, so instead of continuing my walk, I turned around and headed home. I’d gotten my exercise even if Mother Nature ended up getting the better end of the deal. She was a little cleaner. I burned a few calories, more by anger than effort, but in the end I did feel better that my walk wasn’t in vain. I’m sure the wine sommelier that knocks down these bottles of swill has no moral conscience and would consider me the problem with the world. Although my anger will probably fall on deaf ears, I needed to get this off my chest. There’s probably two or three more bags of trash to pick up around my 1.5 mile block. I will attempt another walk tomorrow. Maybe by the time Covid-19 is a fading memory my drunk friend will loose their license and have to start drinking at home.
Ah, the joys of caring about Mother Nature. I think you've stumbled on to something we can all do, whilst corralled by Covid: we can all walk outside and pick up the lazy humans' refuse. I'd read about "plogging" last year, picking up trash while jogging. Gave it a go. Like you, I hadn't gone more than 2 blocks from home, and my bags were full. Sigh. I still pick up trash when I see it, trying NOT to grumble and curse whomever to hell (maybe just a little rash or something). I want to walk today, and will take a bag or 3 with me. Oh, and gloves, because, ewww.ReplyDelete