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What Went Wrong?

Posted Monday, February 13, 2012, at 11:57 AM

On a recent trip to Arizona, we stopped in one of those travel plaza's along the freeway for fuel. The place wasn't anything out of the ordinary... fuel islands, a couple fast food offerings like Wendy's and Taco Bell, and of course a gift shop.

After filling our tank, I pulled the RV into the parking lot near the rear for easy exit and Margie and I settled in for our lunch while we were stopped. As I was sitting there looking out the RV window, a youngish couple of women came out of the fast food place heading for the parking lot.

As I watched, one of the women looked around as if to see if anyone was watching and deciding nobody was, proceeded to throw a bag of trash from inside her car under her car (a new Cadillac CTS) and drove away.

What's wrong with this lady? She was less than 50 feet away from a trash bin, but she had to throw it under her car instead. She actually had to walk past a trash bin on her way into the place, why didn't she take her trash then?

Why did she look around before she threw out her bag of crud? She is not alone, we've even got a term in the english language to cover folks like her... litterbug. It's obvious to me that she wouldn't want to be labeled a litterbug by being seen, but it was OK because she thought nobody was paying attention?

I hope most of us are better than that, but take a look around the parking lots and road ditches and see the trash... somebody sure doesn't seem to care about making messes when nobody is looking.

It makes me wonder what went wrong for that lady and people in general. I figure she learned right from wrong as she looked around before disposing of her trash under her car, but since nobody was looking, it made it OK in her eyes.

Do you practice the same behavior now and then? It's pretty easy to do the right thing when someone is watching, but when nobody is looking over our shoulders, many of us seem to take that look around and see if anyone is watching attitude in our daily lives. The shopping cart rack in the store parking lot is a good example. The cart rack it right there, but an amazing number of folks choose to leave the cart next to the parking space they are vacating instead of helping the store keep prices lower and not caring if that loose shopping cart runs into another car or not.

Why is that? Are we that lazy? Does what belongs to somebody else matter so little that we choose to not care about or trash what belongs to everyone else? I guess the answer is obvious. Stores ask you to park your shopping cart in the racks provided but my non scientific survey says about a quarter of the time it doesn't happen. That same store hires somebody to come out and sweep the trash out of the parking lots, and your consumer prices reflect those costs. Our highway departments have signs made up about littering fines, we pay to have roadside trash barrels installed and maintained, and we continuously pay our taxes to pick up the trash jerks throw out.

As it is in most things, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil it for everyone... but in this case, there seems to be an abnormally large bunch of bad apples.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Timely, and Well said, Brian. Thanks.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Feb 13, 2012, at 12:15 PM

I'm thinking your non scientific survey is off by about 50%. And I am guessing most of the things you refer to can all be tracked back to personal responsibility (mostly, lack there-of).

-- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Feb 13, 2012, at 1:37 PM

I think it's called self-centeredness. The belief that your time is so important, it's OK to cut corners. At someone elses expense of course.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Mon, Feb 13, 2012, at 5:31 PM

I really don't know what to ask. I bet you were floored.

All I can guess is that someone in the store made her mad and she was giving them the middle finger with a stash of trash??

If it weren't so sad it would almost be funny.


-- Posted by wallismarsh on Mon, Feb 13, 2012, at 8:00 PM


I'm surprised you don't know the answer to your question, maybe it is rhetorical.

Clearly it is the fault of Conservatives.

Unless it is the fault of the Liberals.

Either way it's always the other side's fault.:)

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Wed, Feb 15, 2012, at 10:46 AM

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