The World is Your Trash Can

Filed under fun times on the subway, living in new york sucks so hard

I had to run an errand mid-morning today and got on an uncrowded 4 train going uptown. At the Wall Street stop, the young mother in the seat opposite me went to one set of doors and threw her Styrofoam cup out onto the station platform. The lid came off, ice and watered-down soda remnants leaked everywhere, and she sat back down casually.

I scrunched up my face into its most disapproving and judgemental form and stared at her hard, but she didn’t look at me. No one else on the train appeared to notice what had happened, though it’s impossible that anyone missed it. I’ve seen so many people set their empty cups or bags on the floor and been disgusted, but this made that look almost polite.

Read the rest here, because I’m too busy to actually write anything of interest to you.


  1. Actually, things like this ARE of interest to me, because I never get to ride the subway.

    After reading your account of this affection-alienating litterbug freak, though, I feel a little better about that.


    • Thanks, BBFF! It made me so sad to see that little girl sit there unhugged, and I would’ve hugged her myself if I wasn’t allergic to children smell.

  2. Sandy says:

    I totally threw a banana peel out my car window onto the school parking lot the other day for no other reason than there was no nearby trash can and I didn’t want my car to stink. But it’s biodegradable!

    • I’d probably still write a blog entry about you if I saw you do that and didn’t know you, but it does seem like a different situation. Truly, I think Mario Kart has taught us all that banana peels in the road are the norm.

  3. Noel says:

    Ryan and I once got into a huge argument because I threw an apple core onto the ground. I said it was biodegradable and didn’t matter. He disagreed and stopped speaking to me briefly.

    • I really think it depends on the location, and the subway platform is about the worst place to throw something. An apple core just about anywhere in the outdoors seems fine to me; an apple core in the subway or someone’s house–not so much.

      Basically what I’m saying is that Ryan is wrong.

  4. Sandy says:

    Now that I think of it in terms of MK, I realize what a road hazard it can be.

  5. Cristy says:

    What a jackass! Yes, I said it. I’ve been guilty of gum on roadsides and out the window (which when you think about it, wouldn’t you rather it *attempt* to decay in the outdoors instead of wadded up inside paper inside a plastic trash bag in a landfill?), but ever since I learned the word “litter,” I have not participated in the “the world is my trash can” mentality. The nerve of some people. Those same people would be mad if the seat they were sitting on was wet because somebody else left a drink there…

    I love the allergic to children smell comment. Hee hee. :)

  6. Ryan says:

    I think I need to defend myself in this comment thread, because basically I’m rarely wrong about the ethics of littering. And Noel’s litter should not be encouraged.

    The problem with the apple core on the ground is two fold. First, it encourages skunks, opossums, etc, to begin scrounging places where they should not be. In the case of Noel’s litter, next to a frequently used sidewalk. Secondly, the apple core is not aesthetically fitting. She did not throw it deep into some bushes, but right next to the path where everyone has to look at it.

    Littering = lazy. Apple core on the ground = lazy.

    I must conclude with the slippery slope theory. It starts with apple cores. Someday Noel will be throwing old socks, soiled mattresses, and blown tires. And I will blame Katie Ett for defending such behavior.