Professional Litterer

2 Apr

I remember many years ago when I lived Fremont, Ohio, I had a paperboy who religiously delivered the Fremont News-Messenger.  The newspaper was always on the step.  Recently, I discovered the 21st century equivalent: the professional litterer.

I’ve been driving through neighborhoods and noticed little, rubber-banded bundles to papers thrown in driveways and yards.  If it has been raining or snowy, these parcels are in blue, yellow, orange, or pink plastic bags.  The papers contain advertisements and coupons from local businesses.  Apparently a professional litterer drives through the neighborhood pitching these packages out of the window at every residence.

The folks that I’ve spoken with view them as a nuisance.  Trash to be picked up and discarded.  I’ve seen one of the yellow packages attached underneath a mailbox with a sign that says “no”.  Another resident has hanged one of the pink packages from a noose attached to a short shepherd’s crook in his front yard.  Has either of these actions deterred the professional litterer?  Probably not.

Are professional litterers in league with burglars?  People who are on vacation or those “snow birds” who escape to the south during the winter tend to have multiple bags in their driveways or yards.  These folks can certainly go to the Post Office and have their mail held or forwarded as well as having delivery of the newspaper halted, but nothing stops the professional litterer from his or her appointed routes.   Without a friend or neighbor to pick up the weekly garbage, those who take holidays might just as well put a sign in their front yards that they’re gone, come, break in, take it all!

Having only seen these parcels in residential area, I felt safe.  I live in a rural area.  My neighbors are raccoon, skunks, pea hens, wild turkeys, deer, ducks, etc.  My newspaper was either delivered with the U.S. Mail or in a newspaper box by a separate carrier; today, it arrives through the Internet.

Unfortunately, the professional litterers have now discovered me … kind of.  Yesterday when I returned from errands there was a yellow package.  It wasn’t on my step.  It wasn’t in my driveway.  It wasn’t in my front yard.   Actually it wasn’t on my property at all.  It was across the road.  It had been tossed along the shoulder of the road.  Technically, it was pitched on the property of a local farmer across the road from my house.  (It’s a field of corn stalks at the moment, but that will change when spring work begins.)  It was the three-county phone book in two volumes: (1) the white pages and (2) the business resource directory, i.e., the yellow pages.  I should have left it and waited for the township mower to appear and make confetti, but I accepted the greater duty, retrieved it, and tossed it in the recycling bin.

For some stupid reason I thought littering was illegal.  Apparently littering falls into that category of laws that are merely legislative suggestions and not mandates as a former supervisor liked to tell me when I’d point out the language of a statute or an administrative rule.

All hail the professional litterer … although there ought to be a law!

 

 

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