When I was little, all the ladies on the street would be seen at some point in the day with brooms in their hands. They routinely swept their walks and steps and pretty much dared anyone to walk down the street and drop trash in their gutters. Trashing your own neighborhood—or someone else's—just wasn't done.
Shows you how old I am. These days, it's not uncommon in may cities to drive behind a carful of people, virtually all of them old enough to know better, who feel no shame in dropping their trash out the window as they breeze along. Or chucking empty soft-drink bottles (or worse—malt liquor cans) an your lawn as they walk down the street. Or leaving bags filled with the remnants of a fast-food meal on your steps. (Where of course the unleashed neighborhood dogs spread it all over the sidewalk….)
This is where you want a Trash Taliban. Not to curtail religious freedoms or women's rights, not to smack you when you play any music, let alone pop or rap at ear-bleeding decibels (although I have to admit, some "music" begs for that treatment…) Nah. I want a committee of little old broom-wielding ladies roaming the streets giving a good healthy whack to people who are too shiftless and lazy to hold onto their trash 'til they find a can that can hold it. Bet the streets would look lots better, real soon.
What do you think? Holla at AskComeCorrect@gmail.com
Karen Grigsby Bates is co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).
is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).