Monday, April 4, 2011

Another Man's Trash

One man's trash is another man's treasure, so the saying goes.

But sometimes it's just trash.

Why do people feel the need to use country roads as a dumping ground? I am amazed at the amount of trash I see scattered along the roads.

My most interesting find on a recent walk was a half-eaten PopTart. First of all, I was surprised the toaster pastry remained intact after a flying trip from a car window. But what does that say about its viability as a breakfast selection? Is it a metaphor for the rock it makes in the eater's stomach?

At least the PopTart was biodegradable. However, I did notice that no creature came and ate it. It was still there the next day, a little worse for wear, but still unconsumed. Perhaps the creatures are wiser than we are.

The closest McDonald's is 35 miles away, but I still see the paper bag remnants of a fast food meal. There are pop cans, water bottles, plastic sacks and more along the ditches.

But the old saying did come true for us one time. The best "trash" we ever found was Mindy.

Don't get me wrong: I am certainly not advocating anyone take an unwanted pet to the country and leave it there to fend for itself.

A landlord found Mindy and asked if we wanted a dog. Mindy had obviously had a rough life up to that point. She shied away from men for quite sometime.

But she and a little boy named Brent became best of buddies.

When Brent left home for college, I had to promise I'd pet his dogs - Mindy and Ralph - every day. It was one of the hardest phone calls I had to make to Brent to tell him that Mindy had died.

She definitely ended up as treasure to our family. But, much as I loved Mindy, I wish people would keep their trash to themselves. Have we become too lazy to pick up and be responsible for ourselves?

My aversion to the trash heap along the roadside reminds me of an old public service announcement. Maybe it wouldn't hurt for us to run it again.

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