I think that triathletes are people of action. I know that in my case I'd much rather get something done than sit around and talk about it. Except when it comes to refinishing my basement! That's been a five year project that I'm not even close to finishing. Sorry Honey! Anyway, if we're not people of action by nature, all the training and competition seems to turn us into that type of person. Maybe it's all the extra testosterone coursing through our bodies. Maybe it's the lack of sleep that makes us grumpy and it just seems like we want to act when what we really want to do is nothing. Either way it makes me feel like I get stuff done whether or not that is truly the case.
So, here's my story. Just after noon on Sunday while driving to work I saw a person litter. After running miles and miles along the roadside seeing all the trash and wondering where it all came from I finally had my answer. The trash comes from people driving down the road oblivious to their surroundings and uncaring about their community. Lazy and selfish are two adjectives that come to mind to describe most litterers. The litterer I saw this day was not from your standard one piece of trash hooligan. This was a mob boss. Not one who threw down a gum wrapper with the precision of a trained sniper but one with the audacity to shoot randomly and indiscriminately across the landscape like Al Capone and the perpetrators of the Valentine's Day Massacre. Instead of guns, this mob boss used old shoes, paper, plastic and Styrofoam as his weapons of choice to perpetrate his crime.
As I drove passed the driving range on Thornton Blvd in Jonesboro and made a right turn onto Noah's Ark Road I saw a small truck with a bed precariously filled with trash. As we both drove west a huge bunch of trash exited the truck bed. I knew this would happen the second I saw the truck. What kind of idiot loads a vehicle like that? Maybe The Grinch that Stole Christmas as he packed up that sleigh full of stolen presents from Whoville. As I passed over the trash I hit my horn like the engineer on a train trying to warn a school bus full of first graders stuck on a railroad track. The driver pulled to the side of the road, got out, walked around to the back of his truck and checked his remaining unsecured load. I stopped a few hundred yards down the road at an intersection before the red light sensor and waited watching in my rear view mirror. With nothing happening I whipped my truck around at the intersection like Bo driving the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazard. I called 911 and told the operator what I had seen and gave her the vehicle tag number. With me looking on from the distance, the driver got back into his truck and continued on his way aware but unrepentant for his littering. As he drove by me I yelled to his about the trash he had just left in the road. The driver looked toward me before he continued driving and turning south onto Hwy 54 and then west onto Betty Talmadge Avenue. He was probably destined for some secluded gravel road in the wood to dump his load. The county dump is closed on Sunday.
After giving the 911 operator a description of the vehicle and the tag number she said that they would look out for the vehicle. She didn't ask what direction he was traveling. I ended the call unsatisfied that anything would get done.
It's a good thing my wife wasn't in my truck at the time. She would have been yelling at me to stop the whole time. I continued my drive to work allowing my blood pressure to slowly return to normal. At work I recounted my adventure to my co-workers. My blood was boiling with each telling.
Later that night I drove home the same way. I paid special attention to the area where the trash was laid. I couldn't believe it. The trash was gone. I don't know if the driver returned later to pick it up or if the county had done something but it was gone. I was not expecting that. However, I do know this, had I done nothing then nothing would have been done.
Thanks for reading.