Saturday, February 28, 2009


Litter is ugly, distracting and in some cases even dangerous.

But I don't think people intentionally throw trash on the road. I am sure that they think, "Oh, it's just one thing, it isn't much." When the wind catches that plastic bag and whips it out of their reach, "Rats! I didn't get it. Well, someone else will pick it up."

However, I must admit to the exact opposite view of people who discard alcohol containers and half-smoked cigarettes. I don't think ANYone can 'accidentally' throw a beer bottle out the window. And I KNOW cigarette smokers think, "Oh, it's just the butt, it won't hurt anything."

(What should this be called; Anti-Tippling? Discrimination against Budding Pyromaniacs? Bigotry of Beer? Has anyone created a Self-Help Program for them, with the twelve steps of accepting addicts? Should I?)

Groups have used the free advertising aspect of the Adopt-A-Road for personal agendas - my husband still grimaces every time he passes the sign for "the Young Republicans of Cochise County" - and the "Gay Rights Group of Bisbee" section actually got torched once. The photo to the right is actually how they 're-named' the KKK in Missouri.

But my neighbors do it simply out of the goodness in their hearts. Their road is labeled "Ragman and Ruckus" - the names of their respective dogs.

So yesterday I helped on this mile-long stretch of state highway 92. Armed with the extremely strong and vividly blue trash bags, we were set loose upon a wide expanse of road.... of course, only AFTER we had all signed a form that would keep us or our families from suing the county is we got run over by a semi, etc.

Now, you do need to understand that this was ARIZONA road. Which means it is flanked on both sides by ARIZONA FLORA.

Which is flora with an attitude.

Mesquite trees are 90% thorns - not little thorns, as on a rose bush, but hard, solid BIG thorns - big enough to punch thorough the heaviest jeans and make you bleed. Tumbleweeds (which is actually Russian Thistle dried out)... WOUND. Even our scrub grass... INJURES.

So the actual job is untangling plastic shards from fairly dangerous and aggressive plants while standing in tall, thick scrub grass which is the home of the Arizonan rattlesnake.

I think we should be awarded the equivalent of the Purple Heart.