(This column is a repeat from Sept. 2, 2009).
I'll be the first to admit that I have some pet peeves that are borderline obsessive. I guess I'm not the only one as I have a friend - who ordinarily is not an uptight guy - who can walk into someone's house and be driven crazy by a crooked picture frame. He will actually go over to it and straight it up without permission.
Trash is my Kryptonite for it makes me weak. Part of my DNA or upraising stirs up the angst in me and my eyes are magnetized to it. There's no sense ignoring that it's there. I can't. When I see trash on the ground I get uptight about it - to the point that I will pick it up, if I can or if I don't risk getting killed. It's part of my personal crusade to clean up America.
I am sure I can trace this back to that TV commercial in the 1970s where indian Iron Eyes Cody is walking around America and someone throws trash at his feet. Looking sad and personally wounded, he turns to the camera and a tear rolls down his face. That commercial made a believer out of me.
But the coup de grâce of all my pet peeves is the weekend yard saler who puts up a tacky cardboard sign and then doesn't take it down after the sale. (Okay, maybe the only other supreme irritant is the person who leaves up his Christmas lights clear into July). And in this economy there's been lots more sales and lots more signs not taken down. As of this writing (hours before this went to press) I spotted a barrage of signs hanging like collective idiots at El Dorado and Whitmore,
While I am not against excessive regulation, I'd still secretly relish in this as a city law: No posting of yard sale signs ... because NOBODY takes them down after the conclusion of their sale! They're left to the folly of the prevailing winds that whip them off their pole and scatter them about the ground as trash.
All of these issues are related to laziness. Why should that not surprise me because those people who wheel grocery carts away from stores never return them. It's this "It's all about me" society. "I can put trash on a stick as long as it means money in my pocket." The next day, the attitude is, "Sign? That's not my sign! I don't care that it if has the same address as mine, I didn't put it up!"
I am tempted - mighty tempted - to take the next old garage sale sign I see, drive it to the lazy person's house and nail it to their door to see if they appreciate the sign hung there. Or maybe ring the doorbell and tell them that I don't appreciate how they trashed up the neighborhood.
I may be just as tempted to go to the person whose Christmas lights are up in the summer time, ring the doorbell and say, "Merry Christmas! It's nice that you put your lights up six months early to remind us all."
Come on, people. What happened to class and why do so many people lack it?
How do you feel? Let Jeff know at firstname.lastname@example.org