As part of my ongoing microcampaign against ugliness I turned the first dogwalk of the day into a litterpicking exercise. Yield from what is normally a 30-minute round trip through Colchester Lower Castle Park, crossing Bull Meadow and back skirting the County cricket ground: three carrierbags full of litter plus three full cans of beer (yes really!) and one soiled blanket.
About 25% of the litter was packaging generated by a single business - MacDonalds - a fact which I have added to my already long list of reasons to detest that company. Disgusting food, exploitation of children and hellish cruelty to newborn chicks are among the others. (MacDonalds are welcome to sue - is this the start of MacLibel The Sequel?) The rest was mostly assorted junk food containers, dirty tissues and lots and lots of beer cans.
Most of the empty beer cans were from Fosters lager, as indeed were the three full cans, which were under a hedge, for reasons that can only be guessed at, but the fact gives rise to certain questions, I feel, about the brain state of customers of that brand.
I have a theory that the ratio of those such as myself who are made grumpy by litter to those who don't care is probably at least three to one, so if the grumpies each picked up a few bits of litter on each outing, the uglification of our public spaces by litter would be brought under control. The place looks a lot better afterwards and it makes a change from ineffectually sighing "O Tempora, O Mores". You do have to abandon pride though.
I do sometimes wonder, assuming there are any archaeologists alive at all in a thousand years' time (a big assumption I know), what they will dig up. Layers and layers of expanded polystyrene burger cartons? I hope not. It doesn't bear thinking about, really.