350 words – 3 minute read
I’m writing this in wait.
The house over the way is in the midst of a major build and I’m poised.
I’m ready to catch the builder/plumber/joiner/sparky who thinks it’s ok to park right outside my house, eat boiled eggs then chuck the shells out of his car window.
I’ve practiced what I’m going to say.
I’ll be polite but forceful. Not too much sarcasm. I’ll have a clear message.
‘Pick your rubbish up, you filthy, disgusting person.’ Or something like that.
I’ve been here for half an hour now.
All the other contractors have arrived and started work.
But no shell-man. Yet.
I’m not moving.
Christine and I do regular litter picks around our neighbourhood – much to the amusement of some and fascination of others.
One friend calls us the Womble Warriors.
There’s a deep satisfaction in walking the lanes where we live and finding them green, lush and rubbish-free.
So why don’t I just take five minutes and pick up the mess, remove the unsightly shells and get on with my life?
It’s the need to be right.
There’s a problem with this. For me to be right, someone else has to be wrong.
Maybe there’s a better way?
Yes, that would be better. Less stressful. And it would certainly take less time.
But acceptance is a hard, bitter, pill to swallow.
If I clear up his mess, what’s to stop him from doing it again later on? Most likely while I’m distracted?
I feel my inner Victor Meldrew rising. I’ll give it 5 more minutes.
Then I look up. I see blossom, wildlife, birds, trees, spring/summer, wonderful colours.
I see another neighbour walking his dog and I’m reminded:
Dogs bark, cats meow, builders leave rubbish.
I have as much chance of getting my neighbour’s dog to meow as I do of stopping egg bloke from throwing rubbish out of his car window.
I’ve made a decision. Not only am I going to pick up the egg shells, I’m going to do it with joy.