Is street litter alive, do you think? Does it possess some kind of sub-intelligence that allows it to migrate minutely across pavements and up kerbstones according to the rules of some kind of inscrutable herd instinct?
I ask this because my front garden seems to attract litter like Heather Mills attracts woodworm (but repels Beatles – ha ha). Every day a new piece of detritus appears from out of the ether – like it’s apported there from another dimension. Sweet wrappers, crisp packets (usually full of rain water) and the ubiquitous and therefore unconditionally hateful McDonald’s milkshake carton.
I can only surmise that the architecture of my street creates some weird kind of wind vortex that sucks and swirls all the litter from the immediate vicinity into a little freight train of trash that inevitably finds its way to my front door step.
It sounds too unfeasible to be true, doesn’t it? But the alternative would be to suggest that passersby are deliberately hoofing the packaging from their consumables over my hedge and onto my front lawn on a regular basis.
Now I’m not so paranoid as to suggest a deliberate campaign of dirty warfare here but the fact we’re on the route home from the local pub probably has a bearing on what is occurring and, yes, I know worse things happen at sea and all that...
...but it annoys the living bejasus out of me. Mostly because the local authority has, in its infinite wisdom, installed litter bins every 50 yards along most of Leamington’s streets. No matter where you are in Leamington Spa you are never too far away from a litter bin. They punctuate every pavement of my home town like a 3D form of Sanskrit.
And yet the streets are still awash with crap, cast-offs and the crud of various social effluvia.
The most recent offense that has really got my goat was finding one of those horrid orange polystyrene food cartoons wedged into my hedge like the poor thing was an aga. The hedge is quite dense. It takes some doing to wedge anything into it, I can tell you. In fact we occasionally find birds spitted on the ends of twigs like ready-made kebabs. To shove a polystyrene container in there, elbow-deep, took a good deal of deliberate effort. Surely it would have been far easier to walk another 10 yards or so and find the ever open-mouth of a friendly litter bin? Why dump your guff on someone else’s parade?
Clearly there are too many people around who just do not care enough about their environment and that makes me quite depressed. Why is it that we humans constantly deface the world around us with such belligerent nonchalance? Have we really progressed no further than dogs and cats who mark out their territory with the waste of their own bodies? Here, see that chip wrapper over there? Well, that’s mine that is and so’s the street that goes along with it...!
Well, see that machine gun turret behind that hedge over there? That’s mine, that is, and so is everything that falls in range of the bullets. So find an effing bin next time!