I'm sitting in my car, having what passes for breakfast. I'm parked in the shade alongside one of our local war memorials. As I sit there eating, I see a man in his 50's walking down the sidewalk toss a soda cup at a trashcan. He misses by a mile but he keeps walking as it hits the sidewalk.
I pick up my PA mike.
"How about you pick that up and put it in the trash can."
He stops. He looks all around. He obviously doesn't see my slick-top cruiser parked alongside the curb. He's Mr. Oblivious. No, make that Mr. Looks-Guilty-but-Oblivious.
"Sometime today would be nice."
He looks right. He looks left. He looks right at and past me. Then he looks UP. I was so tempted to key up again and say: "Yeah, that's right. it's me--God." But I managed to restrain myself.
Suddenly he sees me. He looks right at me, then points to himself and mouths "Who? Me?"
Like there was someone else walking down the sidwalk throwing paper cups on the ground? Seriously--there's just the two of us here, and I didn't throw that cup on the ground.
He looks at me, then looks at the cup as if he's seeing it for the first time. He walks over, picks it up, and deposits it in the trash can as reverently as one might place an envelope in the church collection plate. Then he shouts "Can I go now?"
It was so tempting to tell him that no, he now has to stay there and clean up after the next three litterbugs who happen along, but damn it, I'm a supervisor now. I can't be doing the sort of stuff that my rookies do--or that I used to do--any more. I dismiss him with a wave and he turns to walk away, leaving me to wonder how people that obtuse actually get to be that old.
'Twas the Night Before Christmas.... Again....
3 weeks ago