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Doing the right thing

Friday, 4 September 2009



I thought I could pick up a piece of litter

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All of this is true.

I walk to and from work every weekday, and today I had a good idea. “Every day,” I thought “I could pick up a piece of litter.” There are a couple of litter bins en route, and an untidy stretch of Wolverhampton suburbs in between.

I tried it today. There’s been a beer can that’s bothered me every time I’ve passed it every day for a week or so; I picked it up this morning.

It was still a quarter full.

I shook the remaining rotten beer out of the can into someone’s front garden, getting a lot of it onto my hands in the process. i then realised just how far away my target litter bin was. This journey included a zebra crossing: I tried to conceal the dripping can up the inside of my wrist, but there, stopped at the crossing, watching my every move, was one of my regular patients.

The damage was done, I thought. Please don’t let my patient have spotted me! I was getting close to the local supermarket, which has a litter bin outside it. i could finally ditch my grotty new possession.

The litter bin had gone. The supermarket has taken it away.

I ended up having to leave the can on the ground by a wall. It fell over and rolled noisily down the slope after me. I’m never going to pick up litter again.

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