Litterbugged [Hey, You!]

Illustration by Bob Aul

You’re the security guard at a private school down the street from my house. You ducked across the street from the school on a break to enjoy a cigarette. As you were walking back, you didn’t notice me walking my dogs behind you as you took a last drag, pitched the cigarette butt onto the sidewalk below you, stepped on it and carried on. My blood boiled: This is Newport Beach, and chances are pretty good this cigarette butt would wash down a storm drain and wind up in our beautiful ocean. I hollered at you, expecting an argument or a denial, but then . . . you stopped, turned and ’fessed up. You immediately told me you were in the wrong and apologized, then went back and picked the cigarette up. I thanked you and let you know I appreciated it, as litter such as this often winds up in our ocean or on our beaches. You apologized once more, adding you wouldn’t do it again. And somehow, I believe you. I’m not giving you a pass for littering, but thank you for immediately righting your wrong, even though you had to be schooled to do it. I walked away thinking maybe there’s one less asshole in this world.

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