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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Andy Rooney Asked Me To Bring You This Message

There are two kinds of people walking around: those who drop things on the ground, and those who do not. Those of us who do not drop things on the ground often feel compelled to pick up what the inferior half so casually or carelessly discards. We are an incredulous lot, we picker-uppers. We know that everything that lies on the ground will continue to lie there until we pick it up. This makes us bitter and fatalistic.

Take, for example, that piece of red string on the floor. I see that string on the floor, and I don't want it there. It distracts me. It is not in its place. I know that the red string will stay on the floor until I pick it up, because the lady who dropped it doesn't care one whit. She may care that her hem is down due to the loss of the red string, but she doesn't trouble herself with the string. I will have to pick it up or look at it indefinitely. If there is one thing that I do not want to look at, it is a piece of red string on the floor.

And take, for example, the empty six-pack of MGD bottles on my neighbor's boulevard. My neighbor does not venture into his front yard more that once or twice a season. He does not bother himself with what accumulates there. He knows that whatever junk the wind does not carry away will eventually sink into the soil; I know that unless I personally enter his boulevard to clear away the offending six-pack, it will remain there until the end times, or next spring. Whichever comes first.

And whoever left the six pack behind was conscientious enough to place the empty bottles back into the box they came in. It is a strange world we live in, where a drunk man arranges his litter before throwing it on the ground.


Blogger Chris Cope said...

I can't think of a more fun way to spend the day than to purchase a six pack and wander through the neighborhoods of Minneapolis.

Perhaps the beerdrinker finished his six pack and thought: "I need to rid myself of this empty six pack because I will soon need to urinate in someone's alley, and I need both hands for said process -- I can't be clinging to an empty six pack of MGD when I do that. But I don't simply want to toss these bottles in the street; I want these bottles to be recycled. Here's what I'll do: The people of Minneapolis are good at recycling, so I'll leave my beer bottles in this person's yard and they will recycle the bottles for me."

Sadly, the beerdrinker chose the wrong yard.

10:06 AM  

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