Thursday, 10 May 2012
It was one of those days which seemed to develop a theme of its own volition. The theme was litter, and it started in the early (ish) morning on my way into the office. A couple of guys were walking towards me and one of them casually tossed a small crumpled ball of paper on the floor, into a space at the foot of a balustrade. He smiled and walked on, laughing with his friend. Just behind me, a man who was probably a civil servant wearing a suit and trainers snorted in disgust:
"Litter bug!" and looked back in stern disapproval at the men. He turned back to look at me and said:
"Did you see that? Disgraceful!"
I nodded, clutching my Pret a Manger coffee cup in my hand and he went on:
"I hate that!"
"So do I," I mumbled and watched him stomp away in his trainers, shaking his head in disbelief.
I perched my now empty coffee cup on the bus ticket machine and left it there.
On the way home, as I was walking along the road, a chap came out of one of the shops and simply tossed a waxed paper drinks cup into the street. A small woman noticed him and said:
"Don't you have a bin?"
The man simply shook his head, smirking as he did so, and this response certainly got the woman's dander up:
"Disgusting!" she spat out, placing her hand on her hip in a challenging sort of way. I saw her point - frowning, imploring - toward a bin not 20 yards distant. This did not elicit a response from the loutish yob (whom I took to be something to do with the shop) in the doorway.
She carried on remonstrating with the belligerent shopkeeper as I moved out of earshot, surreptitiously tossing my empty pack of crisps to the floor as I went.