Posted by: dharmabeachbum | March 28, 2013

Society of convenience leads to trashiness

The ocean lay relatively flat and its green surface was littered with glitter and sparkle borne from afternoon sunlight. Hundreds of sea birds floated on her, bobbing like Styrofoam fishing net weights atop the slightest of waves.

The foreshore had just the slightest pitch, slanted much like your average building access ramp. A winding, yellowish-orange trail of crushed shells lay where the slope of the beach leveled off into flat sands.

“Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road.”

That’s what I had done earlier in the day. I’d followed that shell path and found 12 sharks teeth in an hour and a half. That why I opted in the afternoon to search the beach’s backshore (the plateau nearest the dunes).

On three successive days the previous week, I’d come across at least 15 teeth on heavily-trampled sands while searching parallel to the dunes and erosion fences. Why not try it again?

So I did. Unfortunately, I wasn’t nearly as successful on this hunt. I spotted just four tiny teeth in an hour. During that same time, I picked up two pen casings, a plastic fireworks component, two bottle caps and a tattered packaging label, while ignoring several other pieces of trash.

Bummer. It was a real bummer, man.

After changing strategies and following the surf’s edge, I picked up a boogie board nylon cord, two dampened cigarette butts, the soul of a beach shoe and a plastic water bottle. No sharks teeth. Again, I walked past more garbage. Hey, I’m getting old. I have to pick my battles these days.

Call me stupid (been called much worse), but I just don’t get how people can be so ignorant. Our society of convenience has rendered us lazy and indifferent to nature. Some things shouldn’t be tolerated.

And speaking of…

Locals will tell you that we had a rather cold, windy winter here. Twice within a two-week span, we had steady winds of 20 or so miles-per-hour with gusts twice that strong. The blue trash barrels that normally sit near our beach accesses were blown all over the place. Garbage was strewn everywhere.

Beaches are windy. That’s going to happen. The only way to avoid that kind of trashapalooza is to empty the barrels more often. Mornings and nights instead of just mornings. That would be mighty costly.

It might behoove the city, however, to respond more quickly to wind storms. I walked long stretches of the beach both times, pulling barrels from the surf and gathering a few pieces of trash. I did what my geezer bones allowed me to do; then I was left standing like the Native American in the 1970s anti-pollution commercials. There weren’t ANY city trucks out on that beach before 8:15 a.m. on either morning.

(Fill in your own profanity-laced tirade here — or guess at mine.)

I’m trying real hard to be a good boy. So, in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that.


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