It must be the company that I keep.
Recently I've been very upset at the sight of people littering, and I've been dealing with litter situations like I'm 6'2" and 190lbs.
If I had a goatee and played the tuba I'd be the spitting image of my dear friend The Armchair Garbageman.
Behaving like a hulk of a man is something that I just shouldn't do.
I was with my fiance the other day and saw this punk chuck litter on the floor of the Eaton's Centre. Something in me came loose, and I swiveled on my heel and caught up to the offender.
B- (tapping the punk on the shoulder)"Hey buddy! You want to pick up the litter that you threw on the floor back there?"
A- (surprised, not impressed)"Who the fuck are you? A mall cop?"
B- "No, I'm somebody that doesn't want to walk through your trash; who the fuck are you to throw garbage on the floor?"
A- "So what? You want me to go pick it up?"
B- "I'd really appreciate it if you did."
At this point he became very agitated. He was either: A)very embarrassed and trying to think of the right words to apologise; B)trying to think of a clever way to avoid having to pick up the garbage; C)wondering whether to use his left or his right fist to punch a hole in my face.
Or perhaps, D)all of the above.
He paced back and forth in front of me like a caged tiger, then came right up to my face and delivered his ultimatum.
A- "Okay. Okay. I'll pick it up. Where is it? Show me."
I felt like saying, "Jeez, it took you long enough!" Instead, I pointed to the garbage on the floor and said, "Right there, buddy."
A- "I'm not your fucking buddy!"
Then, a light goes on in his head.
A- "Follow me outside. I want you to see me throw this out. Just come with me outside, yeah?"
B- "Hey, if you tell me that you're going to throw it out I believe you. I didn't call you a liar, I called you a litterbug!"
A- "You know, I could throw you down on the floor in, like, two seconds and embarrass you, but I'm not going to do that!"
B- "Fine, fine. Hey, I'm just glad that you picked up your garbage."
And I waved my little condescending wave, the one I reserve for jerks I bother while in a moving vehicle or on the other side of a pane of glass, and chalked another one up for our beautiful city. He left, up the escalator, hopefully to use that street level garbage can that he had so desperately wanted to show me.
Along with my clean streets vigilantism, I've decided to eat my vegetables so that I can grow up big and strong, and become an "environmental champion" just like Woodsy Owl. In the future, I'd prefer if punks just said 'Ye-ye-yes, sir! Right away, sir!" and got their damn litter without all the drama.
And lastly, in an effort to pattern myself after my hero even more completely, my "wise request" will forever be. . .
"Give two shits, don't toss garbage where I sits!"
Instead of a forest ranger, I'll be a litter pirate!