Once upon a time long before gravity had caused a turkey wattle to wiggie-waggle beneath my chin, some buddies, unlike me, avid hunters, persuaded me to join them on an expedition into the primitive heart of the Avalon Wilderness.
While the International Scout hauling us inland engaged four-wheel traction to negotiate the goat path winding into the hinterland, the b’ys provided continuous commentary on the wondrous features of the Wilderness:
“Got me moose in that tuck of woods last year.”
“That big pond got trout the size of salmon in it. Easy to catch too.”
“Them rocks and rivers are still like God made ‘em.”
After three or four hours of inching-along travel with numerous complete stops to jam binoculars against eyeballs and stare off at some distance herbivore or loon, I was becoming convinced that we were entering country that no man, except possibly a band of Beothuks gone astray, had ever trod.
Finally—finally!—we stopped to camp. An infrequent camper with no tent-pitching skills, I chose to investigate our surrounding, peeping under bushes and peering into hollows. During my exploration, my expectation of untouched pristine wilderness suffered a body blow.
To my dismay, among a pile of boulders resembling the ruins of a collapsed well I discovered a trove of cast-off Pampers, fully loaded—kinda like finding dog whoopsie in a neighbourhood park.
Once upon another time when my turkey wattle first began to wiggie-waggle, Dearest Duck and Daddy’s Boy obliged me to journey to a postcard country where palm trees and posh hotels defined the skyline. A dormant volcano occupied one end of the island like an upsot, eroded ice cream cone.
Tourists were coaxed to ascend the volcano’s slopes to watch the sun rise from the Pacific Ocean.
Daddy’s Boy and Dearest Duck with me in tow obeyed the brochures and mounted to the observation site. There, discarded among the exotic flora where exotic fauna frolicked—my knees bent because I was panting for breath—I discovered crushed cigarette packages, lifeless trash—candy wrappers, buckled soda cans, matted tissue matter—and other familiar garbage.
Kinda like finding dog whoopsie near a monument.
“Harry, my pseudo-eco-activist Honey, you’re telling lies.”
“Not lies, my Duck,” said I. “Not lies. Distorted truth, p’raps.”
“Bring it home,” said Dearest Duck. “Who cares about volcano litter?”
“But everywhere, my Duck, for reasons beyond my ken, people chuck rubbish around and leave it like…well, like un-scooped doggy poop.”
To follow Dearest Duck’s suggestion, so it is at home. From gum-dollars squat on asphalt parking lots to roadside litter, there’s whoopsie here and whoopsie there, jettisoned and/or neglected by portions of the populace.
A case in point—and I say this at the risk of having my wrist smacked. Certain sincere, and generously free, newsprint is delivered in a fashion reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell paperboy heaving the latest edition from his bicycle toward front porches.
Wrapped in recyclable blue, the paper lies in lanes, on lawns and sometimes when the pitch is short, against curbs. Eager readers swoop like gulls to Mary’s French fries to gobble up the news. Others, whose sentiments are peevish, refuse even to stoop, retrieve the paper and deposit it inside a Big Blue recycling bag and leave it for the Blue Bag Garbage Truck. Saying, “I didn’t throw it down, why should I pick it up” they let the blue-bagged scrolls lie there in the dirt—kinda like dog whoopsie by a fence post.
And now sadly a possible new source of trash has entered our local Eden. I scribble “sadly” because denizens from Dunville south are tickled double-double pink that a business enterprise has opened the only—It’s ours! It’s ours!—Tim Horton’s establishment within a 50 kilometre radius, as Mr. Crow flaps his feathers.
Yet sadly, and I scribble “sadly” from the soul, there is a fractious faction of folks among us who are already heave-hoing empty paper cups, their rims rolled up in sad [!] civic comment—kinda like dog whoopsie in the dust.
“Harry, clue it up, or your words will line puss’ litter box.”
A final peal—kinda—in case our homes appear as snaps upon postcards: Let’s do our bit to ensure there’s no dog whoopsie near our doors, metaphorically or not.
Thank you for reading.