An open letter to the litterbugs.

Dear Residents of the Burgh:

Not too long ago I found myself walking down Grant Street way down near the Boulevard, enjoying the beautiful weather of my city, the blue sky dotted with puffs of clouds, the deep clanging of a church bell, the fat hienie of a passing Safety Ambassador, the click clack of my new black heels on the clean sidewalk as I purposefully made my way to someplace awesome, when I noticed the driver’s side window roll down in a maroon Buick that was stopped at a red light.  Slowly, a female, manicured hand appeared and ever so slightly nudged a McDonald’s bag that appeared to be full of garbage over the edge of her window and let it fall to the street.

I was so aghast and appalled that I almost didn’t have the wherewithal to duck the dive-bombing pigeon headed my way.

This fantastic display of douchebaggery and general asshatness should have forewarned me that not everyone views dropping litter into or on anything other than a trashcan as the same personal sin as I do.  And I’m the farthest thing from an environmentalist you can find.  Ask my SUV, or my water faucet when I brush my teeth.

What is so damn hard about holding on to your stupid Slim Jim wrapper until you happen upon a receptacle of trash?  What is so damn hard about smoking near a frickin’ ashtray so that I don’t have to step around your burning butt?  What is so damn hard about having a little bit of love for your city, your neighborhood, your street, your home so that the Redd Up crew isn’t cleaning the same place over and over again because you decided that your Marlboro box needed to be discarded of right this second, right here on this curb because that there trashcan is so very very far away?

From this point forward, if I see you litter, so help me I will pick your litter up, paying no mind to whatever cooties you may have deposited on it, and I will load it into a Nerf ball shooter and I will shoot your litter back at you with such force you’ll be knocked to your knees by a flying Ho Ho wrapper.  Then I’ll stand over you and do my “Mwah-hahah!” laugh as I hold a squirming pigeon over you until it shat (ding!) upon you.

Seriously.  Grow the hell up and quit using my city as your personal trashcan.

Also, I won’t even make you pay the dollar for that swift kick in the butt.  Today only, they’re free.




  1. bucdaddy
    August 21, 2007 11:01 am

    That reminds me: Is it “ass hat” or “as shat”? And what would an “ass hat” be?

  2. Mystery Woman
    August 21, 2007 11:34 am

    That was ME who dropped that bag. I\’m a big Cleveland Browns fan and EVERY time I even pass through Pittsburgh, I litter.

    Pick it up if it bothers you

  3. Philly CheeseBurgher
    August 21, 2007 12:21 pm

    PittGirl, I cannot agree with you more! However, I would like to point out that as I recently was forced to relocate to *gasp* Philadelphia, I have noticed that overall, Burghers seem to do a better job of disposing of their trash than their Eastern PA cohorts. Philadelphia is one GIANT DUMPSTER of trash everywhere. My office is located in an industrial type park area, and for the first three months that I worked here, there was a MATTRESS lying on the curb just down the road from my office. Three Months. A Mattress. Sheesh.

    Maybe the woman in the Buick was visiting from Philly?

  4. Joe Striker
    August 21, 2007 12:28 pm

    Ditto to Philly Cheeseburgher… I moved here several years ago and it has earned the nick-name ‘Filthadelphia’. I hate to see when people litter – smokers, I’m lookin at YOU! – keep your butts in your car and not flick em out the window – nothing pissed me off more than seeing someone who so openly smokes up the fresh air then adds to the trash pile a used butt flying out the window.

    PG – Maybe you could franchise your @ss kickin stand and branch out to Philly.. major business here :)

  5. Kat
    August 21, 2007 12:48 pm

    I’m not a smoker, and I don’t really want to get into the Big Smoking Argument, but I really hate that so many smokers see smoking as a free pass to just throw shit on the ground. I hate seeing butts in all the cracks on the sidewalk, and littering the landscaping outside of buildings, especially when there is an ashtray/trashcan thing right outside the door. Stub it out, and pick it up! Jeebus.

  6. Pensgirl
    August 21, 2007 12:52 pm

    Holla, Pittgirl.

    Whenever I find myself in my car and see someone throw anything out of the window of his/her car, I lay on my horn like my life depends on it. And if I’m walking, I yell.

    Just call me Ms. Manners.

    My Baltimore neighborhood is a Southside-ish area. Thus, I once opened my door on a Sunday morning to find a half-eaten sandwich on my stoop. That’s to say nothing of the dishwasher that just appeared one day in the parking lot across the street. I don’t even want to know how it got there, considering it didn’t come from any of the neighbors. Isn’t depositing it there just as hard as properly getting rid of it? In the case of the sandwich, it was physically impossible to get it to my house without first passing a trash can/dumpster. It took more work to litter it.

    Drives me crazy, I tell ya. Crazy!

  7. Erica
    August 21, 2007 12:52 pm


    I couldn’t agree with you more…

    Didya know about this website?

    It’s a place to report the human-trash that makes the world their own, personal wastebasket. Although your Nerf ball shooter/pigeon poop retaliation would be much more immediately effective, of course…and a lot funnier.

  8. Sandy
    August 21, 2007 12:53 pm

    Kat, I agree with you! The world is not your ashtray, smokers!

  9. Danopsu
    August 21, 2007 1:15 pm

    Word Pittgirl. Word.

  10. Danopsu
    August 21, 2007 1:15 pm

    Word Pittgirl. Word.

  11. Ruby Vroom
    August 21, 2007 2:29 pm

    You are all so right! Littering is just so pathetic. How could you have such little regard for the world you live in? And, word to everyone who says to stick your cigarette butts in a garbage can! I honestly think that there are people who would otherwise never litter who think nothing of throwing a cig butt on the ground. Do they think you get special dispensation because it was once on fire? Or because it’s gross? If you can stick it in your mouth, you can stub it and stick it in your pocket until you see a gargabe can. Gah!

  12. coolmommy123
    August 21, 2007 3:06 pm

    Just this morning I was merging onto the parkway from the Squirrel Hill entrance. A car was FLYING past the on ramp in the slow lane (the fast lane was clear…one of those lovely situations where someone just doesn’t want you to merge on and speeds up to make sure you don’t). So, I let her pass and then scooted over to the fast lane, since no one was in it and I wanted to make quick time through the tunnel (NO BRAKE LIGHTS, PLEASE!). Speedy McRudester was now stuck behind someone else in the slow lane, and as I passed her she flicked her cigarette butt at my windshield. I glanced at her as I passed to see if she was being malicious, but I think she just fits into Ruby Vroom’s category of “gets special dispensation” because it’s a cig butt. Just all around classy.

  13. BBM
    August 21, 2007 3:46 pm

    coolmommy123–I once had nearly the same thing happen to me on the Parkway West. Except it was a bag of McDonald’s debris that hit my windshield. I was so pissed off that I followed the person into their parking garage downtown and told them that I was sorry they had lost their McDonald’s on the Parkway. And offered to buy them a replacement breakfast. The asshat didn’t even figure out what I was talking about until I said “Quit throwing your f*^king trash out your car window, you moron.” And then I sped away.

  14. Goob
    August 21, 2007 4:08 pm

    One of the interesting things about living around here is the notion of “far”. Folks I know who live on the West Coast think nothing of driving 90 minutes each way for dinner. Folks around here are hard pressed to cross a river. Possibly due to topology, or infrastructure, or just plain pleasure of a comfy chair: things that are close by the definition found in any other place are Far here.

    It occurs to me that this is a sliding scale. Murrysville is Far, but it’s a Hell Of A Lot Farther at, say, 5pm on a Thursday afternoon. Scott is always far for me, because I never quite remember how to get there. The airport is always Far, for everyone, all the time.

    I can see merit in a theory that trash cans are, for a large chunk of the population, Far.

    (This is also a benefit of walking to work through a park: it’s highly unlikely that people are going to throw shit on me. I have to watch out for the birds, though.)

  15. Tinare
    August 21, 2007 4:51 pm

    A couple of weeks ago on Blvd of the Allies I watched a middle-aged businessman (who looked like he should know better) take one of those plastic wraps off of the top of a bottled water and let it fall to the ground less than 4 feet from a trash can. Then I kicked myself for blocks for not saying anything to him. But the amount of laziness that required astounded me… Bravo to the city for putting out new trash cans and recycling bins, but BOO to the Annoying Burghers who can’t be bothered to use them.

    August 21, 2007 6:35 pm

    BBM: High five, that’s friggin awesome!!!

  17. Stll A. Fan
    August 21, 2007 8:06 pm

    …and dont even get her started on the idiots who take more time to hop 2 wheels of a shopping cart up on a curb rather than just walk it back to the cart area. it never ceases to amaze me the look on the home depot lot guy’s face when i take my cart back across the entranceway to put my cart back. they actually have 1 guy dedicated to retrieving carts his entire shift.

  18. Amand-r
    August 21, 2007 10:39 pm

    Still A Fan:

    I lived in Orlando for three years, and NOT ONE of the many grocery stores or Targets I visited had a cart return. People left carts everywhere, and they looked at me like I was insane when I returned the cart all the way back to the store. The grocery stores in Orlando have the bagger take your cart to your car and unload your groceries for you before returning the cart. But they won’t accept tips so I felt bad having them do it.

  19. the violet
    August 22, 2007 8:17 am

    Word on that PittGirl…WORD ON THAT!!! Shame on those litterbugs. I saw that exact same senario out in Philly not too long ago. I made it a point to sigh and tisk as loud as I possibly could for them to hear. That crap burns me up as well.

  20. Litter Lover
    March 14, 2008 12:23 pm

    Women who litter are beautiful! Wish I had been there to see that pretty hand oh-so-casually drop her trash.

    Don’t flame me. I don’t litter and, if I can get away with it, I’ll pick up the trash such a Lady has dropped, just to treasure as a reminder of her.