Anarchist in the Ditch

To the friends and neighbours travelling Highway #3 between Sasquatch Trail and the truck brake check sign on Sunday morning and noticed me falling into and out of the ditch, and rummaging around for empty Kokanee and Budweiser cans and thought, “Isn’t that…?  Goodness me, things must be worse than we knew!”  I do appreciate your kindness in discretely dropping off your empty Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Courvoisier bottles on my driveway, but I’m OK.  Really.

Half-empty, well, that’s another matter…

What started this, was moving from Calgary and leaving behind the bicycle-weenies and the municipal politicians infected with the bicycle-lane virus spreading around the over-populated parts of the world.  Without that overhead, I was free to buy a new bicycle and ride with only the philosophy of, “Keep to the far right, ride single file, don’t be a narcissist and most likely no one will run over me from behind.”

While heading down Highway #3 last week, even with the amazing turn of speed that fitness, technology, and a lot of gravity, provided, my new-found eyesight allowed my delicate sensibilities to be offended by the stunning array of trash in the ditch.

Hence the cleanup program.  Naively, I set off thinking that a couple of plastic grocery bags would do it.  Heading home with those full, after not reaching the truck brake check sign, I headed back out with the 75 litre, heavy duty, orange safety model.

A good haul.  Mainly beer cans from a variety of countries.  Coffee cups, but not one from Tim’s!  Vodka, soda pop, kaopectate, water and energy drink bottles, indicating a wide range of offending demographics.  One paperback novel, “Merry Christmas, Alex Cross” by James Patterson (I’ll report back when I finish it), one CD (“Smashing Pumpkins” must be a gardening self-help series.) and a brand new, unsharpened, wood HB pencil with an eraser.  Likely tossed out of the window when some kid could not figure out what it was or how to turn it on.  An election sign from the 2013 provincial election.  Memorabilia!  A section of 3/4” plumbing pipe that should clean up nicely, the shattered remains of a china plate, unfortunately, missing one crucial shard, a highly compressed Samsung cell phone and a nice gold Rolex.

Not really.  That was about when the sun was getting high and delusion was setting in.

See you at the recycling depot!

Jim Thornton