Monday, September 18, 2006

Civic Duty...?

I am furious!

One of the great attributes of my modest apartment is its proximity to Astoria Park – a 65 acre public park complete with an Olympic swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball hoops, children’s playground, Bocce ball court, a nice track and lots of paths for runners and walkers. Unfortunately some of the people that frequent the park are slobs.

This morning while running (circa 7:00am) I noticed a man littering. This was not your typical New York homeless person either - just your average, run of the mill jerk tearing pages out of a calendar book and callously tossing them on the ground as he meandered past the many garbage cans that line the pathways.

I don’t know if it was civic duty, moral arrogance or if I was just tired and grumpy but I couldn’t resist. As I passed this litterbug I looked him straight in the eye and said four little words:

“Use A Garbage Can.”

This set him off in a huge way and he launched into a verbal tirade that would even make Andrew Dice Clay blush. He shouted just about every curse and profanity in the book at me. I am sure he offended all the nearby dog walkers and the good folks doing Tai Chi halfway across the park with his high decibel verbal refuse. Had he been able to keep up with me he probably would have tried to take a swing at me too.

Personal safety aside, was I wrong to address this man’s behavior?

"I have found little that is good about human beings. In my experience most of them are trash."
-Sigmund Freud


Morphew_Crew said...

Heck no you weren't wrong to address his behavior! There are too few places left that people can go and enjoy themselves and the beautiful surroundings. People like that need to be reminded sometimes. Maybe next time he'll think about what he is doing.

Deene said...

i don't think you were wrong to call this idiot on his behavior. he'll probably give it a second thought next time.

Mark said...

I agree that you should've said something. Maybe next time he'll be dealing with someone who isn't such a fast runner over long distances.

JustRun said...

I agree, sometimes we have to say something. I posted something similar to this a couple months ago when I saw a man hitting his dog while I was out walking mine. I just had to say something though that guy could have easily kicked my rear. For me, it was a moral obligation. Had I not said anything, I would have always wished I did.

Josh said...

Morphew_Crew - I sure hope he does think about his actions next time.

Deene - you are absolutely correct. He was an idiot! :)

Mark - If he caught me my only hope was the Tai Chi folks coming to my rescue.

JustRun - OMG - hitting a dog is far worse than littering. I think I would have stopped and gave that guy a piece of my mind. I am glad you said something.

Morrissey said...

Sorry to hear that focker went all tourettes on you, but you have every right to address that focker! You did the right thing!

man...i remember those days when my parents use to take me to astoria pool when i was 7 years old. Good times!

WeCastMusic said...

As long as I know I can get away, I say whatever I want because people need to hear the truth... no matter if I am calling someone out on the street (and I am safely in my car) or on an anonymous blog. ;)

Just12Finish said...

!^@%#&$* NO!

That he even reacted at all means you got to him. He deserved it.