Littering should be judged by respective degrees, just like murder.
“First degree littering” would be considered the worst, of course, a genuine, pre-meditated affront to humanity. “Second degree” wouldn’t be any better, except that maybe you put a “FREE” sign on your old-ass queen size. But because that’s a stupid excuse, I take it back: there’d be no second or third degrees.
It’s all bad. It’s all willful and deliberate.
When I find some skanky mattress or overturned recliner dumped next to sidewalk tree, I imagine locating its former owner and rubbing his face in it the way my father taught our dog not to crap in the house. There’s simply no excuse for making your problems ours, and those who do are self-serving leeches with rat urine for blood. So no, the “Take Me” sign you stuck on that used condom of an old couch doesn’t frame this picture any more forgivably. Your Carrington-Breckenridge microsuede fat throne and you can go to hell.
I can’t say why the site of abandoned furniture hits my who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are? nerve with the precision of a laser-guided missile, but when it strikes I picture the culprit creepin’ around, lookin’ for the right spot and the perfect moment to dump a lifeless TV before racing off like he’d just waved his dick at some kids.
If the offending home furnishing happens to be sitting in front of your home or at the end of your driveway –and it belongs to you– that’s a different story. But old couches are most often abandoned in and around condo and apartment complexes. Discarded mattresses are leaned upside electrical boxes, building entrances, parking garage gates, and in street gutters for all to enjoy.
(Here, too, I imagine a herpetic male tenant who doesn’t pay his child support, waiting ’til midnight before wrestling his personally varnished king-sized Euro-top out of the building and into the alley, where it’ll stay for weeks.)
Ever see a furniture-dumper in broad daylight? Not me! I’m glad I haven’t, too, ’cause if I did there’d be a confrontation. ‘Course I really can’t go around mashing people’s faces into their inconsiderately disposed of, human-soiled IKEA foam waste products: Hello! I have both state and federal rap sheets. Such an incident would guarantee conversations with suits and badges I neither want nor need.
But I would find myself tempted, upon catching some unmanly do-nothing dumping his tattered La-Z-Boy, to hop out of my car with a digi-SLR (14.3 Megapixels of mega-shame, baby!) I’d run over and yell, “Yo Landfill, say cheese!”
Then I’d zoom home and crank out some nice color prints, returning to the scene of the criminal laziness with many copies. Each would feature an abusive, unfairly judgmental, and contemptuous description of what I saw. It would say “HATE CRIME” or “RODENT BREEDER” in giant letters. My eyewitness account would even include claim to have seen the perpetrator stopping to wipe himself all over with a large dead fish – just because. Readers need a good WTF!? to keep ’em hooked.
I’m not, however, prepared to dial 9-1-1. My faith in local law enforcement’s concern for aesthetic, quality of life issues is dubious to begin with. Besides, 3½ hours standing around with the police actually is too much to ask. Far too many cops are anxious to end their shift with as few incident reports to complete as possible, and they can be a headache for both parties to deal with. Thus my vigilante creed: “Don’t magistrate: humiliate!”
But is publicly dumping boxes of your old clothes or bedding really a hate crime? Other than a self-hate crime, technically (obviously) no. It is, however, illegal, and certainly arguable that only self-haters buy Swivel Rocker Recliners “with Storage Arm” and fabric sectional sofa-yachts.
I mean, Lane and Broyhill are the real reason people dump these wretched discourtesies in the dark of night, right? General laziness too, of course, but who’d want to be seen scurrying away from an Emporium Class end-table on a sunny day? Not me.
And isn’t it always that hideous Macy’s clearance center garbage these assholes make us look at on the street, too? I call unfair! You’re walking down the sidewalk and up-comes some lunchtime spaghetti at the sight of a Bulldog Pad-Over Rocker. And what in goddamn hell is a “Catnapper Magnum!?” Who invents these names, by the way?
Whatever, it doesn’t matter. Just don’t pollute our day with whatever’s left of your ugly-ass home furnishings.