part of my rock-solid daily routine is the walking of our two-year-old pug, Pugston, in the mornings and evenings. we have the gig down pretty well:
-walk down the apartment stairs
-head to one of the nearest grassy areas to urinate (not both of us, just him)
-and then over to the narrow strip of lawn which borders the brick wall that separates our apartment complex from the neighboring one, where our little man can sniff around a bit and eventually assume the squatting feces position (on a side note, due to the inherently sad look of the pug face, when he's in this stance he always looks as though he feels embarrassed to be evacuating his system in public view).
of late on these trips to poo territory i'd been noticing an increasing frequency of various pieces of litter: empty beer cans, empty packs of cigarettes, and on at least two separate occasions a drink cup from Long John Silver's.
at first i dismissed this phenomenon as the product of some careless fellow resident, his or her open-bed truck, and the forces of wind but then i noticed that the garbage always lay within an area of about three to four feet in width. at this time i should note that the neighboring apartment complex has two-story units a mere ten feet or so from the dividing brick wall and that one of the unit's second-floor balconies directly overlooks the trash trajectory area.
on this particular balcony Pugston and i had seen before a young white twenties-ish girl out there on some nights, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends. i don't recall ever having seen her drink beer or smoke cigarettes but the layout of the crime scene suggested her as suspect numero uno; not having any damning evidence with which to confirm my suspicions, i merely made a mental note and moved on with my life.
the other day, though, i think i just missed my chance to catch the misdeed in action:
pugston and i were en route one Friday evening to the poop spot but our view of the alleged perp's balcony was obscured by a set of stand-alone one-car garages. moments before we cleared the edge of the garages and had full view of the grassy area, i heard a distinct hollow 'splosh' that any former fast-food patron would recognize as the sound resulting from the meeting of ground (plant-covered, earthen base) and cardboard cup (with ice). sure enough, what did i and my little pug detective partner spy but the culprit's trademark Long John Silver's cup(!), lying crumpled on our complex's premises in the target area with the suspect sitting out on her balcony chair.
seeing us she quickly said 'hello' as if wanting to fill the awkward silence and i cursed the extra water Pugston must have drank to prolong that evening's urinary exercise; had i arrived seconds earlier i might have caught sight of the cup mid-throw and possessed irrefutable evidence based on which i could have engaged in something cathartic like making some cutting remark or throwing the cup (or one of Pugston's landmines? no. surely not...) back at her where she sat. as it stands i'm the kind of guy who, no matter how solid the case appears, doesn't want to look like a raving accusatory lunatic if it turns out later that i missed some key piece of evidence that would have exonerated the recipient of my ire, so i held my tongue and finished the pug bathroom break without incident.
the whole episode is fascinating to me as it brings up the following questions:
1) What grown adult, in this generally mindful and conscientious society, actually throws trash on the ground with willful abandon? i'm sure she has a garbage can somewhere in her apartment... it's not as if she's being forced to choose between throwing the trash on the lawn or personally carrying it on foot to the local landfill.
It's just one of those things that you naturally don't think people would really do; i get the feeling, based on my upbringing, that i'm actually physically incapable of doing it, that my brain would short-circuit or something.
2) Why was our apartment's landscaping the target of her garbage projectiles? Have I stumbled into the midst of the psychological warfare campaign of some sort of apartment complex border war?
3) Who the hell eats at Long John Silver's these days, let alone on a seemingly regular basis?