Just a thought… Do the right thing, even when no one is watching. It’s called integrity. [based on a quote by C.S. Lewis]
Hope you managed to stay cool this weekend if you were in the more humid parts of our lovely country; here in the Victoria area it was cloudy and about 20C. Perfect weather for the Saanich Strawberry Festival, where you could spot Rob, me and a whole lot of other great Rotary folks volunteering, cooking and selling dogs and burgers. Now I think we’re off ’til Labour Day and the Saanich Fall Fair. I shall practise my Bingo calls until then.
Seeing the trash and recycling bins everywhere yesterday reminded me of something I posted on Twitter last month when I was in Ottawa. It was one of the hottest days of the year to date and Colin and I were hanging out at the playground nearest his parents’ house. I was trying desperately to commit our moments to memory – the sights, the laughter, the experience of going down side-by-side slides with him – when my olfactory bulbs were slapped with the smell of something that definitely didn’t fit the sweetness of the day: dog poop baking in the sun.
I tweeted something to the effect of, “those who ignore signs and dump their dog poop where they’re not supposed to are garbage people.” Something like that; I don’t commit my tweets to memory.
Now, you know I generally don’t go out of my way stir up sh – er, stuff. I thought it was a no-brainer that if you deliberately disobey signs and put your poo bags where they don’t belong, you’re not a good pet parent. Or citizen. Or, okay, person. Who actually wants to be bombarded with the smell of doggie deposits in the hot sun like some vile version of Shake ‘n’ Bake?
Well, surprise, surprise: I was treated to a lot of opinions. Many had suggestions of what was worse, like people who toss their bags in others’ driveways or on the lawns nearby; most everyone had a story of a careless pet owner who couldn’t be bothered to dispose of their bags at home. We’ve all seen ’em.
But the most in-your-face response came from one person who insisted that putting it in the trash was the best thing that a pet owner could do. (There were a lot of “at least” comments made, but especially from this one person.) Apparently the SIGN ON THE GARBAGE CAN asking people not to do it didn’t apply if one thought it was a better idea than: a) not picking it up at all, b) spreading it on the slide (one commenter’s experience), or c) just dropping the bag out in the open.
For heaven’s sake, whatever happened to just obeying the signs? Staying within the lines, whether or not they suit you personally? I swear these are the same people who insist on texting or using devices while they drive (or are stopped at red lights) because they know better than the law.
(As an aside, we came up on a car on Friday that was stopped at a green light – not one that had just turned, but that was full-on green – whose driver was doing who-knows-what. Fortunately, we were able to swerve and miss her as soon as we realized that she wasn’t moving, but the gentle sound of our horn hopefully woke up the driver.)
We may not like the rules, but they’re set up for a reason and they apply to everyone, not just the ones who agree with them. If you think it’s doing your civic duty to put your poo bag in the public trash, then good for you. But if that garbage, which by the way cannot be moved easily as it’s planted in concrete, happens to be mere metres from a play set, as this one is (not great planning, City of Ottawa)…
…then is it so hard just to obey the signs? You could think it through and consider children and caregivers who have to live with your disposal, or you could just, as Paul McCartney put it, “listen to what the man says.”
Getting along would be a lot easier if we weren’t constantly having to deal with other people’s sh*t, don’t you agree?