People not like us

Walking down the street after work with B. we spy this guy in front of us with baseball cap (on backwards) and a baseball jersey with the name Kidd on the back. We were walking up Rhode Island when Plunk! Down goes a styrofoam cup filled with ice and drink on to the busy road. At first, I thought someone left a cup on the curb and one of the fast driving vehicles shook it in the road. No. As we continued to walk we see that “Kidd” has a brown paper carryout bag. He took out a sandwich wrapped in wax paper and just tossed it on the sidewalk. At this point I had no idea of what to say or even think that anything I say would stop this unacceptable behavior. “Kidd” then dropped the brown paper bag in the street and continued on. B. and I griped amongst ourselves about how anti-social was the litterbug. B. concluded that “Kidd” was well on his way to a life of failure. I figured “Kidd” must live in a garbage can because apparently he hasn’t escaped the garbage can of his mind and has no respect for his neighborhood or himself.
Really, what kind of people treat the neighborhood like an open garbage can?

14 thoughts on “People not like us”

  1. MM,

    Seriously happens at least three times a week over near 7th St. There is a takeout on 7th and q called Tiki that half of those who frequent the carryout seem to “miss” the 2 garbage cans stationed on the corner outside of Tiki. I always want to say something but I find myself holding back

  2. for fear of it causing some big scene. We have a huge issue of our steps (and many of my neighbors) of being the community picnic table. People will come and sit on my steps and leave their trash when they finish eating…

    Last week my neighbor’s house had a visitor that decided to smoke crack while sitting on the steps and yet another who decided to use it as a bed. The times are a changing…soon this sh$T will be a thing of the past.

  3. I’m more likely to say something when it is the house of a neighbor I know well, as in well enough to figure out who is a typical visitor. And what I engage in friendly non-confrontational inquistive small talk. “so you’re visiting from out of town?” “you’re their cousin/uncle?” “are they home and when will they be back?” “waiting long?” “how is work going in the house?” (for houses where they’re remodling and there are guys in beat up clothes hanging out). Sometimes they are legitimate visitors, when they are less so, I get a vague answer and after a while they leave.

  4. It is no surprise that DC seems to have the largest concentration of gulls, pigeons and sparrows I’ve seen in any town. They are cleaning up after our messes. I noticed while in Vancouver, B.C. that they do not litter, and there are NO PIGEONS in the city. Litter also helps the rat population too.

    DC seriously needs an anti-litter campaign. We certainly do not lack for trash bins…they are never far from where I see litter dropped. People just don’t want to bother.

    When I am feeling brave and if I am not far from the person, no matter how small the litter item, I pick it up and bring it to the person, and say, “I think you dropped this, but there is a trash bin over there.” and I point to the bin that is most likely only 10 feet away.

  5. I see that every day. Literally, every day. Grown-ups, too. Yesterday a woman threw her empty bag of chips down right next to a trash can. And no, she didn’t just miss. I never confront them. Anyone who would do that has no respect for rules and is just as likely to start beating you.

  6. Yes, unfortunately, this happens all too often. Not only is litter unsanitary and unattractive, but it can be downright dangerous for those of us who own dogs. As friendly as my own pooch is, he does not have a discerning palate and will suck up chicken bones before I can say “The Colonel.” I do try to politely confront the people that do this kind of thing and have had mixed results. I usually just turn the hose on the those creeps that urinate on the sidewalk though. Bastards!

  7. It happens all over the city–same church, different pew.

    I live in Ward 2, and litter happens everyday. But its not only vagrants that get to me–its dog walkers too. I can’t count how many times I have found a “gift” left in my yard/sidewalk/tree box.

    The “gift” is usually in the form of a plastic bag, filled with doogie poo, but the walker was too lazy to throw it way in a trash can (just across the street, or in my trash bin 5 feet away), so they hang the bag ON MY FENCE! ARGGGGHHH!!!!!

    I mean, REALLY?! These folks have the decency to scoop their pet’s poop, but they won’t properly dispose of it. I have no pets, but weekly, I have thrown away enough poop for an army of dogs.

    So, I guess it’s all relative…

  8. I know the above post sounds somewhat petty compared to complaints about busted bottles and other kinds of trash, but I also have to dispose of various kinds of trash too.

    I say we need more plain clothes cops to issue litter citations throughout the city–kind of like an extension of the Parking Authority. We fine folks for parking, why not fine them for litter–and have a fleet of patrol cars and officers to support the effort.

    I mean, we did have a surplus in the city budget last year, didn’t we? There shouldn’t be dirty street in the city if you ask me…

  9. My favorite piece of trash is the chicken bone. H Street has a million take out places that sell chicken and these things are everywhere on the weekends. Someone recently told me (or, it could have been an email on the ANC6A listserv) that he confronted someone about littering and the person replied that he was creating jobs for others.

  10. Back when my wife and I lived in the neighborhood, we played a game while walking through the hood: 1 point for spotting littered chicken wings, 2 for discarded or lost hair extensions, 5 for A LOT of loose hair, and 10 for chicken bones wrapped up in hair extensions. Sadly, a quick walk to the Giant and back could result in 20 or more points on bad days.


  11. JS: the lost hair extension has been tagged as a “tumbleweave,” a natural phenomenon in DC streets and gutters. Tumbleweaves can roll together to form enormous balls (spherical, free-formed afros?) of hair that blow across empty streets on windswept days.

    I think it has been a generation now since we’ve seen a hardcore national litter campaign on television. Anyone remember the crying native American at the campground? We have not had much of an anti-litter campaign since.

  12. I hear you, DAK02, my dog will Hoover up the “gifts” that you describe too, much to my dismay.

  13. Littering drives me crazy. You know, I may be naive, but I almost always say something when I see someone toss your trash. I never try to sound p*ssed off or hostile…just something like “there’s a trash can right over there.” The vast majority of kids (and they’re mostly teenagers) say, “Oh, right, sorry.” and pick up their trash. A small percentage of the people pretend they didn’t hear or mumble “f*ck off. But after probably 50 times of doing this, it’s never turned into a scene.

Comments are closed.