Put a gumband around it

I would hardly say I’m a rigid person…I just adhere to most rules of society and get, I don’t know, anxious and sweaty when others don’t. I am chronically early, polite to strangers, and try not to touch others on the subway (unless they really deserve an “unintentional” elbow to the kidney). (Can you even elbow someone in the kidney? I don’t know, I do just start to flail if I feel like my personal space is closing in though). Littering though, might be my biggest pet peeve. It’s like, the easiest thing NOT to do, and yet I think every single person in New York who buys a pack of cigarettes throws the cellophane wrapping on the ground, and everyone who gets a soda from the deli throws their straw wrapper on the ground, and sometimes when I’m walking behind someone who’s eating a sidewalk dog and they finish and then their napkin falls to the ground, I have to resist the urge to pick it up and say “Oh, here you go!” passive aggressively. I don’t ever pick up the napkin because I always know that, no, they didn’t drop it by accident, and if I try to give it back I might get a shiv to the kidney instead of a nice blunt elbow. Only in New York! Sigh.

Today on my way to meet Tracy for lunch at our old agua-ing hole, Pampano Taqueria, this gorgeously sunny 85-degree day, the first in many days that has not actually rained and washed away garbage and caca and doody from the streets, I stepped in a large pool of melted gum. Like, this chunk would have been in the Big League Chew All-Star game. I knew as soon as the light changed and I started to take one step closer to my tacos that I stepped in it, but I didn’t expect it to fully wrap around the bottom and top of my flip flop heel in an adorably sticky gum to shoe hug. So that made me hate people for a brief moment because seriously, why? There is a trash can on every single street corner in midtown. I thought that stuff was supposed to be ridiculously long lasting nowadays, what are people doing spitting it out? (I have worked in advertising too long.)

But honestly, of all the things to do in the world – littering? Why? Does it make you cool? One bad mother (Can you dig?)? Are you just lazy? Why! My one pair of Puma flip flops, a.ka. the best flip flops ever (they never chafe!) are scarred for the season and the lazy gum-spitter will never be held accountable. I’ll never come face to face with my tormenter – but that’s probably for the best because if there’s another thing I really can’t stand it’s people who crack their gum.

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  1. Once, while riding on the subway, a fellow passenger opened up a small plastic bottle of cologne (so you know, it was high-quality) and proceeded to actually pour the contents over his head and dropped the bottle on the ground. It was a wretched littering stink-bomb and I smelled like his cologne for hours afterwards.

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