Some Alabama drivers are unrepentant litter bugs. Either that, or aliens are picking through the dump and scattering human rubbish on roadsides for their own strange purposes.
No, I strongly suspect humans are to blame for the blighted condition of country roads. But which humans? Many people my age (65) blame “the kids.” But the fault lay elsewhere. I have circumstantial evidence from collecting roadside trash over the past two years. And it points to people older than the kids.
For example, kids in my day threw lots of empty beer cans out the car window to escape detection by police or parents. But I have found lots more water bottles than beer cans littering the ditches, and only an occasional power drink.
Also, I have never found an undergarment — men’s or women’s — or any amorous protection products.
What I have found — besides water bottles — is lots of Styrofoam, packaging materials, plastics, the stuff of adult civilizations.
And I have a theory about the origins of this trash. I think much of the refuse can be traced to the rise of the open-bed pickup truck, which has spread into all reaches of society.
Trash and how it is distributed are nothing new, of course. Wilbur Wright knew that six empty pop cans tossed carelessly in the back of a pickup would become airborne at 50 mph. And Galileo discovered that the vortex of wind in a truck bed, combined with the earth’s gravity, would distribute those cans in a random fashion.
Pointing fingers doesn’t solve the problem. And there is plenty of blame to go around. But I respectfully ask that drivers in potentially beautiful rural Alabama mind their own litter and pick up the litter of others from time to time.
Thank you for attending to my screed.