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People Are Pigs

Updated on November 1, 2009

 I remember being 12 or 13 and telling my mom that i was going to write books when I was older.  "Oh really?  What will you call you first book?" she asked  "People Are Pigs" I replied

So here we are.  A book it is not.  Not yet anyway, maybe not ever - but here is something.

"How, at such a young age, did I decide that 'people are pigs'?" you ask

Observation.  Make no mistake:  I'm no ecologist.  I'm no environmentalist.  I do not care how many gallons of gas you use if you pay for them with money you earned honestly, or how many empty Coke cans you throw in the trash, as long as they make it into the trash...

And that is the point: HIT THE CAN if you throw it that direction! OH how I hate picking up other people's trash!  You don't have to be a basketball star - just pick it up if you miss! Or don't even try if you never hit the can.  I have considered getting a huge 55 gallon drum and then building a giant three foot diameter funnel-shaped collar to add to the rim of it and put it in my kids bathroom, so when they aim for the can they can't miss.  That'll teach 'em!

The kitchen can is not as bad.  I don't know why.  Maybe because they know I go in the kitchen and they think I dont look in their bathroom.  I'm still not happy about the trash situation though. WHY please tell me WHY is it like a challenge to see HOW MUCH and HOW HIGH you can go before Dad yells?  Why can they not empty it before it becomes a part-time job to get it out of the can and into the dumpster.  When some one finally empties it, they need to bring an empty bag with them... not to replace the one they took out, but we'll get to that in a minute - NO! to fit all the trash in!  Somehow as you pull the bag out of the can the amount of trash magically expands and it takes TWO bags to get all the crap to the outdoors, plus all the cereal boxes and stuff that was NEXT TO the trash...  Now as far as I am concerned, if you take out the trash that is good - but PUT A NEW BAG IN THE CAN! And if you don't, you know the next person is going to just throw stuff in there bag or no..

Bathrooms. At home or out in the world it is the same.  At least at home it is MY dirt, MY hair in the drain.  Still gross - but not gag-me gross. My dad used to say "Don't touch anything" as we went off to the bathroom.  I was never quite sure what not to touch.  'Anything' kinda means everything.  But stall doors must be closed and locked.  Toilet flushing was done by the foot.  Faucet handles must be turned on.. and off...  The towel dispenser may have a mechanism requiring contact...  I found myself telling my kids not to touch anything, not remembering this would be a challenge.  The other day I was in the restroom somewhere while travelling and I was able to wash and dry my hands without touching anything!  I said outloud:  "We are IN THE FUTURE!"  It was like a dream.  Yes, I'm living the dream!  All those kids grew up and became scientists, engineers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians. and what did we all do? We made bathrooms we could use without touching anything!

I was parking at Walgreens in another city one day.  When I exited my vehicle, in this slummy town, one of the trashy people that lived there was interested in my car.  It was a Cadillac, and they were getting ready to ask me for money.  Then a curious thing happened:  an empty Coke can from my car slipped out and clattered to the ground.  Now I must tell you I do not litter and so my car might have trash in it until I feel like cleaning it out.  This person had the nerve to say "Eww!" when they saw the inside of my car!  Well I say EWW when I see their streets!  I say EWW when I see them feed their children by giving them a bag of chips and a candy bar and a little plastic bottle of brightly colored sugar-drink.  These kids have what I call the last-bite-reflex.  This is the in-born or learned behavior of eating whatever crackly-wrapped crap you can find and then at the last bite you deftly open your hand as the foodstuff enters your mouth and the wrapper flutters to the ground and they look away and say "That's not mine!"  if you catch them wiping the crumbs from their mouth, denying responsibility for the packaging of whatever crap they just ate.

THAT is why I will always remove the old mattresses left by pigs outside any property I am in charge of.  It becomes a magnet for kids to jump on.  I am not against jumping on old mattresses.  No, it sounds fun.  But these kids are fed the fun-size-chip-bag-way and within a few hours the yard will be littered with remnants of their 'meals'.

Have you been to a movie theater and felt the sticky floor?  Why do you think they never turn the lights on in there?  Why is it okay to just dump your drink and leave all your popcorn boxes and crap there when you leave?  Newer theaters have a very interesting way to deal with this problem.  After the movie, there is a huge fan that blows from the back of the theater along the floor.  All the trash blows under the seats, all the way to the front where they can pick it up all at once more easily.  I need this can at my house!

I'm much older now than when I decided to write People Are PIGS!  I know of what I speak.  Since telling my mom the name of my book in the kitchen many years ago, I have cleaned many bathrooms and other things.  I was on the cleaning crew at a summer camp, cleaned pots and pans and dishes, cleaned offices, cleaned cars, apartments and houses, yards and construction sites, and many other things...  I remember one time in junior high school, I had committed some offense and the punishment was to clean the school's garbage cans.  They thought they had created the most awful, time-consuming yucky punishment they could think of.  All the cans were brought outside I was given a garden hose, a scrub brush and some cleanser.  They left me to my work.  Unfortunately for them, I am living proof of the old saying:  "If you want to find the easiest way to do a job, find the laziest man to do it"  Though in my case I am not lazy, just smart.  It should be:  "If you want to find the best way to do something, find the smartest one to do it".  The parking lot was gravel.  I put gravel, soap and water in each can.  Swish, swish, rinse, done!  I was done with all the cans in a very short time.  And they were CLEAN!  Cleaner than any scrub brush could have done.  They saw me coming back in the school and told me to get back out there and do my work.  "I'm done"  I told them, returning the bucket, and soap, and putting the dry scrub brush on the counter.  "You can't possibly be done" they declared.  "You can see for yourself if you want, they are all clean".  They were not happy and couldn't figure out how I did it.

I should not be surprised or disappointed by these things.  We can not fight the laws of nature.  We all tend toward greater entropy in all things.  Our bodies wear out and get old.  Our houses, rooms, garages get messier with time. Everything gets less and less ordered over time.  Why fight it.  Just be a pig.  Enjoy life and stop worrying about the mess.


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