Ever sitting at a red light and the guy in the car in front of you rolls down his window and chucks out an entire bag of McDonald’s??Well, if that irks you, you’ll be glad to know that there is a website where you can report that litterbugging cockroach. www.dontmesswithtexas.org Here, you can “Report a Litterer”. If you are sitting still in traffic, and it’s safe to, jot down the jerk’s license plate number. With that, they can pull their address. They’d also like to have the make of the weenie’s car, the location, the date, the time and what lovely item they discarded out the window. With this information, they don’t send them a citation or ticket.What they get, though, is a shaming letter, telling them there are people watching them and someone reported them …. “Tossing a bag of McDonald’s … out the window of their beat-up old Nova” (you know, the one that has the bumper sticker that says “My Other Car’s A Porche” … right …and my breasts are in my “other” shirt…). Along with the letter, they get a litter bag (it’s like a smoke and a pancake). And the neat thing, the litter bag fits right out the window (it’s just easier for the guys in the orange jump suits to pick up trash that way…more compact). I know 5 women who have all received a littering care package in the mail. Coincidentally, each one was for flicking a cigarette butt out the window of their car. And you know why they don’t want you doing that??Grass fires?? Perhaps. Or, maybe it’s because Squirrels pick them up, smoke ‘em and get lung cancer. At the very least, it will stunt their growth (squirrels are supposed to be the size of a kangaroo…but, due to the stunt factor, they’re like 6” tall…coincidence??? I think not…). Just last week, on the freeway, I saw a guy dumping his ashtray out the window of his car. And, if I weren’t driving 90mph in a 60, I would have gladly jotted his license plate number down. Now, you don’t usually see someone blatantly emptying out an ashtray….ashes and butts everywhere! Those poor motorcyclists. Typically, when you see a car ashtray emptied out, it’s in a Walmart parking lot. While sitting in a parking space, someone has discreetly opened the door of their car and emptied the contents of their ashtray, right there….along with like 12 diapers…ew!!!! Throw ‘em in the trash. Those diapers are like banana peels in the Walmart parking lot. It’s like an obstacle course. Hopefully they don’t chuck diapers out on the freeway (again, those poor motorcyclists). Speaking of banana peels, one would think that it’s no big deal to chuck one of those or an apple core out the window of the car. An animal would dig that for dessert. But that’s another reason why they don’t want you littering. When you chuck out what you believe to be an innocent, biodegradable piece of fruit, or even the teeniest, weeniest gum wrapper…and animal has such a keen sense of smell, they go onto the road to retrieve it and WHAM! Road kill (see my February 9 blog). And, as if that’s not bad enough that poor fluffy bit it, most people would swerve to avoid hitting a beautiful animal and wind up killing themselves (and now you are the road kill). In Texas, the only things you can chuck out the window and get away with it, are ice, water and chicken feathers (don’t even ask….only in Texas, right??)
So, the Don’t Mess With Texas program was not only put into place with the sole intention of keeping our highways and roads beautiful. There are other residual effects from the act of littering. Our roads are stunning!In Texas, even the wildflowers on the side of the freeway are all scattered there for our enjoyment (I always envisioned Lady Bird Johnson in the back of a big black limousine, martini in one hand, handful of wildflower seeds in the other, window rolled down just a smidge, just driving up and down the Texas highways (in the slow lane)…chucking out wildflower seeds).
Next time you see that inconsiderate trash hound who doesn’t care about his environment…or yours…REPORT THAT LITTERER! Oh, yea, and there is also a tab on the website where you can GET STUFF. Cool, free stuff like litterbags, bumper stickers…even the shipping is free. Check it out.
And whatever you do….DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS.
( Daun Thompson is a comedienne, artist and writer from Dallas, Texas )