Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A bunch of garbage.

Hey! You keep your car clean and neat.

Good job!

But then I see you flipping the napkin from your burrito out the window.

Or your Jumbo Death Gulp cup.

Or your cigarette butts.

Or your beer cans.

Or your (ew) plastic Dr. Pepper bottle full of spit from the dip you've been working on all day. (again I say: Ew!)

I was talking to a German girl who was disgusted with Texas. "Efryvun t'rows deir karpage on de grund!" she lamented.

As a fairly hard core Native Texan, I immediately jumped to the defense of my beloved, maligned native land. But... damn. She was right. It's frickin' disgusting. I have no idea if she was hypocritical-- I've never had the opportunity to judge the roadsides and lands of Deutschland, so... scoreboard for the didactic Teutonic harpy.

But damn, people! Don't even begin to take a bit of pride in your neat auto, if it means that you've been dumping your crap out.

And don't give me the slightest modicum of crap if you find yourself stopped and cited for it. Please.

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At Friday, October 12, 2007 10:04:00 AM, Blogger David said...

I lived in Germany for 6 years. (3yearsx2) and everyone there seems to be able to hit the trash can with their garbage. And that included the Americans living there.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Marko said...

Chucking trash out of the car is considered extremely rude in Germany. Part of that is the inbred German Ordnung, and part of it is the environmental education that's been drummed into folks for the last few decades.

It's amazing that the amount of roadside trash seems to be directly proportional to the professed patriotism of a population. If you love your country, why do you throw a Big Gulp full of tobacco juice into its face?

At Friday, October 12, 2007 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Hammer said...

My sister in law taught her sons to do that. she says "oh they hire people to pick that up."

I had to whip both my nephews asses to break them of that filthy habit.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 11:10:00 AM, Anonymous Matt M said...

Damn right! Trashy people bother me.

I live in Houston, and watch the smokers in the car in front of me. If they flick their butts out the window I give them a beep on the horn. Trash throwing earns a honk.

I am told that it is a violation to use my horn in a non-emergency situation. Once, the butt flicking smoker in the car in front of me almost pulled into traffic because they thought the beep meant that the light had changed.

Am I a bad person?

At Friday, October 12, 2007 11:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but when the "Open Container Law" went into effect, defining an empty beer can with a slight amount of backwash as an open container....

... well, ever since then, if I have a beer or two (as a passenger), the cans go out the window! I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. Before that, I have never thrown a beer can out of the car, now, always.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 11:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt M,
cigarette butts? Come on, maybe downtown Houston, but if you tell me you can spot a cigarette butt while driving on Hwy 90, I'll tell you you're lying!

At Friday, October 12, 2007 11:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in beautiful Minnesnowta, but have toured by motorcycle pretty much all of the US (and the pretty parts of western CANADA, back when). Maybe this is just the Midwestern in me, but I've notice a fairly strong correlation between the level of trash on the highways/shoulders/ditches, and the latitude. The further south I go, the more debris there is.

Before all of them-thar proud Southerners jump on me, I'm not trying to be nasty or snarking...I'm just saying that it's noticeable.

I've also noticed a sharp UPWARD trend in littering here in the Twin Cities, which has correlated pretty well with the increased Hispanic population. We had a very large influx of Mexicans coming up to Minnesnowta for roofing work after several particularly nasty hailstorms back in the late 1990's.

I'm wondering if there might be a cultural connection between the litter density and Mexican-descent/Hispanic population density. Littering in Mexico is so endemic as to be not's just common practice. I'm pretty sure that they don't get the psuedo-environmental religion drummed into them the way the US government schools do here.

Again, I'm NOT trying to be racist, anti-legal-immigrant (hey, we're ALL immigrants here, even the autochthones, once you get down to's just a matter of timing), or anything else nasty. It's just something I've noticed.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 1:42:00 PM, Blogger BobG said...

People dumping trash always pisses me off. As a friend of mine once described them: "They're the sort of people who probably shit in the living room to keep the flies out of the kitchen."

At Friday, October 12, 2007 1:53:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Ok, my truck is a rolling garbage can, my suburban on the other hand is cleaned out everytime I get back to the house the ashtray emptied, any other detritus removed to the waste receptacle which I park 4 feet away from. very rarely will I throw a butt out the window, when it does happen it's usually because I spaced out for a second. But I Do NOT throw trash out of the window, soda cans napkins etc get set on the passenger floor board until I get around to emptying it.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 4:05:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Anonymous: The open container violation in Texas (a law I railed against and lament to this day-- why would I want them to slam their drinks in the bar?) is worth a simple citation. We cannot arrest you on-view for it. It's a ticket for $100-$200. The dregs sticking to the can aren't going to get you a cite. Just pour the damned thing out to drain it, if you're worried.

Littering is worth a $1000 fine, and you can be arrested for it.

Seriously, if you can't manage to keep from drinking in your car and pitching the cans on the ground, then you need to reexamine what's important to you, why, and if you have a problem that needs treating. I mean that in all sincerity.

Anonymous who doesn't know my name:
Yes, I see cigarettes on the side of the highway.

Yes, I'm irritated by them.

Yes, I'm very irritated by all the fires.

Yes, I probably would issue a cite for that. How hard is it to put your butt in a can, and pitch it later? Why does your trash have to be pitched onto the ground?

Oh, great-- now everyone hates me.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 5:25:00 PM, Anonymous Bob@thenest said...

I still want that paintball gun set mounted in my front grill.

One color for litterers in front of me. Another color for those who run red lights while turning left oncoming in front of me.

Nobody around here seems interested in enforcing either of those, so the least I could do is help mark those likely to do it again later to make 'em easier to find.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 6:07:00 PM, Blogger 5150Wife said...

As a mostly-still-in-the-closet smoker, I have to speak out about the throwing the butts out the window thing.

There is no excuse to EVER throw a cigarette butt out a window. Or to drop it on the ground and grind it with your shoe to put it out. Sorry, but these are HUGE pet peeves of mine.

When I am out somewhere and an ashtray is not available, I knock the cherry off, grind the cherry into the ground and put the butt back into my pack. When I get home, I take the butts out of my pack and throw them away. Gross? You betcha. But so is my habit.

Oh, and to Anonymous who tosses the beer can: Since you blame the Open Container Law for your violation of littering laws, I'm curious: What do you blame for violating the Open Container Law while you're chugging that beer or two?

At Friday, October 12, 2007 6:09:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

I don't know how it is now but back in the late 60s early 70s I lived in Bamberg, Germany and it was very clean. If someone saw you throw garbage on the ground they would pick it up and hand it back to you and tell you we don't do that here. If you want to do that go to your home country.

At Friday, October 12, 2007 11:58:00 PM, Blogger Strings said...

Ok, I have to admit: my butts go on the ground. In my defense: they're put out before being tossed (to prevent fire), and don't last beyond the first rain storm (hand-rolled, no filters). And, if there's a fellow biker behind me (or a convertable), I'll keep hold of it...

No excuse, just lazy...

At Saturday, October 13, 2007 6:16:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Strings, I can accept a completely cold but with no filter.

Likewise, I'm cool with a banana peel or an apple core out the window into the ditch. In two dayss exposed the elements, a 'nanner peel is almost impossible to find, and actually adds nutrients to the soil. Hell, I've always thrown 'em in my garden.

Filters take a long, long, long time to degrade, though.

Assrot, I did that in a less kind way on campus, one night. I was trotting along to class be hind this HUGE young black kid whose physique (big chest and back, narrow waist, about 6'7") spelled "linebacker" to me, when I watched him throw his Super Big Gulp cup into the hedge to his right.

I didn't think. I just acted. I grabbed the cup, yelled "Hey!" and shoved it into his hand when he turned around.

"We don't do that!" I bawled at him as the inkling of dawning came to me that I may be about to get my ass kicked by a guy 10 years my junior with approximately double my muscle mass.

"Oh, man. You're right. I'm sorry. I know better than that!" he responded, as he turned to trot to the nearest trashcan across the narrow mall.

I thought at the time,"Holy crap. It worked. Why don't we all do that? Oh yeah-- because some guys will take offense." He knew he was wrong. He just got caught being lazy.

At Saturday, October 13, 2007 8:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am currently stationed in Germany and we live in the town of Hockenheim. Hockenheim has a McDonalds in town and because of the idiots throwing their empty McDonalds bags out of their car windows there is a huge problem with trash littering the roadways. Because of this trash problem McDonalds pays 1500 euros (about $2100) every month to the town of Hockenheim to help pay for the clean-up.
For the most part Germany is pretty clean but their sanitation and sense of cleanliness is slipping since the "wall" came down. You can see it on along the autobahns and other pulic areas. The old timers will tell you that fifteen years ago a lot of the litter would not have been an issue but Germany's coffers are empty and things have deteriorated.


At Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:30:00 AM, Blogger William the Coroner said...

Testify, my brutha!

Food is one thing, but the plastic crap just pisses me off.

At Monday, October 15, 2007 9:17:00 AM, Blogger The Lily said...

The irony of people throwing their butts out the window is staggering. "Oh, I don't like the smell." And yet you smoke...

As for me, I keep a trash bag around the gearshift in my car. I will gnaw my own hand off before throw anything out the window.

At Monday, October 15, 2007 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Same here, ClairBell.

At Monday, October 15, 2007 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

("ClaireBell," I mean. Forgot the e.)

At Tuesday, October 16, 2007 7:50:00 AM, Blogger The Lily said...

no big. As long as it gets pronounced the same people can spell it anyway they want.


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