Photo credit © Starsinclayjars
Doing The Right Thing
“They haven’t cut the straps.” Luke kicks disapprovingly at the third discarded mask we’ve seen in the one mile walk to school.
“Huh?” I’m not really listening. I’m wondering what we’re going to do on Monday. The third strike day of his first ‘normal’ school year since Grade 1.
“Animals can get tangled in them and die.”
“In the discarded mask?”
“Yes. It’s serious, Mom.”
One of us is missing the point. “You want the careless idiots who drop their mask on the side of the road to carefully cut the straps first?”
“It’s environmentally caring.”
“Ah, environmentally caring littering.”
Today’s photo put me in mind of a song from my childhood, The Bedstead Men, by comedy duo Flanders and Swann. You can enjoy it on the link below (2:25 for the relevant verse). It occurred to me that 80 years on, the specific items listed in the final chorus would have changed considerably, and in the last few years, one piece of litter has taken over from the prophylactic as the most ubiquitous: the single-use mask.
I toyed with the idea of amending the lyrics for our times, but at 352 words, it’s a little over the limit and most of them wouldn’t change. My own Luke recently took on board an important lesson about mask disposal, and my own Matty is currently sprawled on the couch with ‘flu … likely to recover just in time to miss school for yet another strike.
And so today’s snippet was born. If you enjoy stories featuring the fictional Luke and Matty, you can find more of them here.