Sunday, October 10, 2010

So today...

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.

"Yes, you."

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.


suz said...

Thanks! I really needed to laugh today!

Harlequin said...

Ha ha! I love reading your posts! That is awesome that he looked up, you could have had fun with that one.

*Goddess* said...

Ok, that's just absolutely hilarious!

Jay said...

And they let him out of the house by himself? Voice of God....Still laughing.

Mad Jack said...

That's great! I hate looking at litter.

I'm afraid that I'd have been tempted to put him through the standard inebriated driver tests while I remained seated in my patrol car.

Mr. 618 said...

Kind of reminds me of an old routine from the Great American Philosopher Bill Cosby, talking to Noah about building the Ark: "Noah, how long can you tread water?"

Cyn said...

Funny!~ You should have given him a littering ticket. I hate litterbugs! : )

trixie said...

I know it's on the bottom of the list, especially for the Oakland, CA PD, but I would do so wish more of them would do what you did.

It's insane how blatant the littering is here: I see cars stopped at red lights that open their door and drop bags of fast food trash or empty the entire ashtray on the ground.

Yesterday I noticed someone in a parking lot cleaning their car. The problem? Nothing went in a bag or can, he just threw everything on the asphalt.

..and I'm not about to correct anyone because around here that'll get you shot!

Vanilla Chunk said...

I'm an English teacher. Just wanna say: nice use of the word 'obtuse'. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

and somehow, somewhere, someone will make this the cops' fault as well.