[file photo by me]
Over the weekend I was taking an early morning stroll along Valencia Street when I happened upon an older white man who was knelt down in front of a trash can with a metal scraper going to work on a flyer that had been pasted onto the side. In the process of scraping the flyer off it had torn into pieces and once he was done he stood up, left the pieces on the ground and started walking back to his shiny PT Cruiser. In the past I’ve seen a few different people around the neighborhood doing this sort of this, like this guy, who Nick wrote about previously. I usually dismissed them because I felt sorry for them, as if they were so constantly bothered by flyers on trash cans and utility poles that they had to spend their time doing this. At the same time I have been annoyed that of all the things that take place around them this seemingly harmless thing would be the target of their energy. When I saw this guy go to his fancy car I couldn’t contain myself.
Me: Hey, you just gonna leave that trash on the ground?
Me: You’re not going to pick that up?
Scraper: You see where it came from!
Me: Yeah, a trash can, and then you put it on the ground and can’t even put it in the trash?!
Scraper: (grumbles to self as he goes over to the pile of paper scraps and tosses them in the trash. Then points to garbage on the ground near his car) Why don’t you pick up that?!
Me: I’m not gonna pick up your trash.
Scraper: I didn’t put that there!
Me: Neither did I.
Scraper: (grumbles to self as he gets in his car and zips away to the next block to get out and scrape some more)
So, obviously pasting flyers and artsy things about is against the law, but so is littering. I just don’t get these people.