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.
28 responses to “FF – Doing The Right Thing”
Eating people is wrong
At last, something we can all agree on! At least, I hope we can…
Them masks get everywhere, we have doggie bags, we need mask disposal bags.
I’ve always just taken mine home, but littering was drilled out of me from an early age.
Well, there are your common careless litterers and then you have your caring litterers. Of course, if you need run into the house to find something to cut it with, I’m not sure why you need to go back out and throw it on the street, but then, I guess that’s why they are uncommon caring litterers. But then, I guess it is better than, after running inside, cutting the mask, grabbing the brass bed and dragging it you, and on the river bank leaving a shoe.
There are clearly levels of bad in everything! Thanks for stopping by.
Well, I guess if you’re going to litter, you might as well do it conscientiously. 🙂 Great story. I like his mindset.
Thanks David. I guess so.
I like his focus on the outcome of the issue. It’s a bit like clipping the plastic rings on beer packs – a kind of “if you must then would you mind first …. ” Great take.
Yes, I took on the plastic rings thing much younger, this is no different. And to be fair, in both cases, the risk to wildlife isn’t massively reduced by being in landfill rather than the local park. Maybe Luke’s right, it’s the snipping that matters.
Litterbugs from generation to generation. The song was fun. Good story.
Thanks, Rochelle. I recommend lots of Flanders and Swann’s songs. They were very clever.
Yes, don’t throw them in the street in the first place! Topical take.
Cheers Iain. Not throwing them on the street would definitely be my preference.
A wonderfully personal take on the prompt pic, Jen. Oxymoronic environmentally conscious litterbugs are an accident of nature, for sure. Admittedly, I’m now pondering the mask I saw hanging from a tree. Why? 🙂
Oh god, the tree-hangers! Dog poo bags and masks. Are they planning to come back later? Is it marking territory? Do they think that’s less messy?
Seen the poo bags forgotten near benches and far fewer discarded masks these days. I presume the masks were dropped accidentally and the wind did the rest. I’m less sure about the poo bags. 🙂
I love the way Luke’s mind is working. It’s awful how many masks you find discarded on the ground now-a-days. Nice slice of life!
Thanks, Brenda. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Later, later everywhere
and not a bin in sight.
That seems to be the excuse. I like how you show the illogical misrepresentation of the problem.
Thanks James, I enjoyed your misquote too
It’s sadly true. I loved the punchline, “Ah, environmentally caring littering.”
Thanks Nobbin! After your starring role in our Leader’s piece, how did your head fit through the door?!
There’s plenty of room for growth. My mom used to call me pinhead. I said, “You’re welcome.”
it starts at home. if kids are taught to do the right thing, they’ll do the right thing.
Useless litterers 😠
I’ve noticed them often in grocery store parking lots. What a mess! Loved the “environmentally caring littering.”
Oh the mask littering used to drive me mad! Glad it’s calmed down now! Excellent story, reminds me of conversations with my kids!