About six months ago, I started noticing cigarette butts in my front yard – to the tune of 4-5 per week. O.K. – I’m well versed on picking up other people’s trash – I’ve been doing it since I was 5 years old, as a matter of fact. I remember VIVIDLY the day I adopted that task – I was walking with my Dad up the sidewalk in suburban New Jersey – our mission was to secure a bottle of gin from one of my Dad’s drinkin’ buddies, on accounta it was Sunday and the liquor stores were closed. To paraphrase Wimpy from Popeye: “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a pin of gin today…”
Anyway, there I am, shuffle-stepping along two steps ahead of the old man, ’cause I know the way; this ain’t my first accompaniment on this particular Sunday Mission doncha know. I see a Rheingold beer can about three feet ahead; when I get to it, I give it a swift kick into our neighbor’s yard – ’cause that’s what kids DO, right?!
About 11 nanoseconds later, I feel a concussionizing slap upside the back of my head outta NOWHERE! After I clear the stars (and tears) outta my eyes, I look up questioningly at Pop; oh, he’s MORE than ready to offer an explanation: “You see a piece of trash in the skreet, you pick it up Boy – you worry about whose job it is LATER! Now go back and pick that up…”
So see? I’m used to picking up other people’s shite, so I go out every week, gather up the wayward butts outta my yard, and toss ’em in the trash bin – when they haven’t been run over by my gardener’s lawn mower, that is! Yeah – ever seen a cigarette butt/filter that’s been run over by a lawn mower? Like a fuckin’ dandelion, is what THAT is! I get more and more perplexed as the weeks and months go by – who in the BLUE FUCK is tossing their butts in MY fuckin’ yard I wanna know?
One day I happen to be upstairs at ~3PM on a Tuesday – I accidently wandered into the Jones Exercise Room, a place that I’ve been categorically AVOIDING like a leper with AIDS for the last year; ’cause ever’ time I DO go in there, I go in feelin’ pretty good, and come out feelin’ REALLY bad – pretty much like Newark in the ’70’s.
As I’m up there, I espy the kid from up the skreet walking by our house . You know the one – I’ll betcha you got one JUST like him on YOUR skreet; to wit: 15-16 years old, all slumpy-shouldered from staring at his fuckin’ iPhone 22 hours a day, keeping up with all his texting and social media responsibilities.
But then – I see it! My little pimply-faced neighbor has a cigarette butt hangin’ outta his mouth; as he gets right in front of our house, he tosses that butt right there in our yard!
“You little half a piece of shit MUTHA-FUCKA!” I say out loud – I believe I saw the Cross Trainer cringe a little out of the corner of my eye. Of course I know that by the time I get down onto the skreet, he’ll be L-O-N-G gone – on his way to whatever pussy-assed destination he’s headed for; prolly to hang out w/one of his pussy-assed buddies, where they can sit side-by-side and text each other or some such shit – instead of doing something worthwhile like boosting a car or trying to coax one of his slumpy-shouldered cheerleader schoolmates into riding his high hard one for 15 seconds…
I DO take note of the time he walks by, however – and the very next day at 3:07PM, I’m downstairs peering out of the powder room window – lying in wait like a fuckin’ snow leopard for that cheesedick. And like Swiss clockwork, there he is – starin’ down at his Smart Phone, butt dangling from his cake-maw. I calmly walk out, big Dale Carnegie smile on my face, and say: “Hey there neighbor – I got a favor to ask of you.” He looks up slightly, hooded eyes narrowing; I continue: “I notice that you’ve been tossing your cigarette butts into my yard on a pretty regular basis. Can I ask you to NOT do that please? When my gardener mows the yard, he hits them, and it makes a royal mess for me to clean up.” I chuckle slightly, awaiting acknowledgement…
He continues to stare at me gape-mouthed, as what’s left of his genetics-limited IQ processes my “request”; this takes ~45 seconds. Then he slowly reaches up, takes his cigarette out of the aforementioned cake hole, and flicks it EXTRA-HARD into my yard – “Fuck YOU, Pops!” Now it’s MY turn to be gape-mouthed, but he doesn’t stay around to notice – he’s back to shuffle-stepping on down the road, Smart Phone back in his face…
After I’m done grinding my teeth for about 20 minutes, as I load and unload my Colt .45 Model 1911 about 52 times, I decide on the MORE logical of my 52 plans – 51 of which involve some sort of slow & prolonged application of primitive hand tools to various places on his personage – I’ll go talk to his Dad, who’s about my age.
I park my pistol back in my nightstand, consider taking a Xanax but don’t, and walk the three doors down the street, ringing the doorbell at The Kid’s domicile. Dad answers, invites me in, and I paint the scenario out for him (leaving out any discussion of my other 51 plans, of course). Claude just looks at me hopelessly and says: “Yeah – kids; whaddya gonna do?”
To quote the late great Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack”: “Now I know why tigers eat their young…”