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Mr. Wrong

One Simple Trick to Turn Litter Into Money

Here in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, America, They (and you know who They are) officially raised up the tax on a bottle of anything except milk (bleh) and 2-liter servings of soda pop from two cents to five cents, effective July 1, 2013, Anno Domini, No Deposit, No Return, and a few people, some people, many people—I dunno, people—are angry about it because it’s more taxes, on top of more taxes also now on gas for your car (3.5 cents a gallon, and don’t ask me how they figure the .5 part if you buy, like, seven gallons of gas) and tolls, like the kind you might pay in your car on the way out of Baltimore maybe, to go someplace where there are no taxes, I guess, or just to go to the beach via the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, aka Bay Bridge, as in Chesapeake, the Bay, which is polluted by (among other things) toxic crap and bottles and cups and cans and other garbage that finds its way into runoff from stuff that gets rained on, so if you have a house it’s gonna cost you anywhere from $40 to $120 a year, I guess based on how much roof you have or something, for this new tax called the “Rain Tax,” which is not the Official name for it, it is called the “Maryland Stormwater Remediation Fee,” and yeah, it’s a fee, not a tax, just like the tolls are not taxes, but whatever, all this stuff plays like taxes.

And by the way, scofflaw dog owner, your dog shitting on the curb, or on the grass in the park, or in some empty lot with weeds all over it and tall grass, or wherever you have your dog shit, if you don’t pick that shit up and put it in the garbage, when it rains, it goes into the harbor with all the other shit from all the other people who think they don’t have to clean up their dog’s shit, so you should clean it up. What we need to figure out is a tax on dog shit, that would be a gold mine for the schools, eh? Maybe people could bring their dog to a school and have it shit there, but they would pay a fee.

In my capacity as a Taxpayer, I am not really opposed to any of this stuff in principle, taxes, I mean, you wanna go to the beach via the Bay Bridge? Makes sense you should pay for the crossing so we can keep a nice bridge and maybe build three more so there won’t be all the traffic jams, right? If that Bay Bridge was run by a private company, you think it would cost six bucks to cross it? You know it would cost 20, 30 bucks. Same goes for the gas tax; I buy gas, you buy gas, it means we are rolling on Caesar’s roads, and they don’t pave and light themselves. However, I used to take the tunnel every morning to get into town and I guess I would be howling at an extra buck each way or whatever they are gonna jack up the E-ZPass. And I also know everything I eat, drink, and own probably got to me on a truck, and you can talk all about changing the way we transport everything, but right now truckers are howling too because they are getting double-penetrated by more taxes in the tunnel and gas tank.

Meanwhile, the bottle tax (or whatever it’s called) is supposed to go for The Children, as in more money to pour into the crappy, terrible, awful, lousy, bad, not-good Public School System the City of Baltimore is now famous for. OK, sure, not all of the schools, but c’mon, it’s most of ’em, and not just some of ’em, I mean, they made a super-depressing season of The Wire on Home Box outta that shit, and the whole country saw it, so it’s Real, right? But there’s Reform and stuff, by the Superintendent who just quit, so the daily newspaper just calls the School System “troubled,” and now we have bottles of drink helping to fund the Public Schools of Baltimore, and the salary of the new temporary Superintendent, which I heard is $225,000, plus she has lotsa vacation and a driver. I’m gonna assume this new Superintendent is gonna work very hard, at least to become Superintendent again, right? Anyway, more money for schools, assuming everybody keeps drinking bottles of drink brought to us through a tunnel by a truck.

Then, you know what lots of people do when they are finished with their refreshing soda pop or fifth Energy Drink of the day? They fucking litter it. Just throw it wherever, and then it turns into part of the reason for the Rain Tax thing for Remediating the Rain, which is just rain until it hits town and collects the litter and deposits it into the Chesapeake Bay, and more immediately, the insides of the Inner Harbor, right here in The City That Litters.

If we had a fucking Deposit Bottle thing here, how much of the crap, Inner Harbor-wise, do you think would be soda bottles or beer cans or whatever? Right, exactly almost zero, because if we had a Deposit on every bottle and can—except milk, I guess (bleh)—then we’d have enterprising citizens of Baltimore out on the streets rounding up every stray container they could find to get a nickel or a dime each for those containers. We’d probably still have those annoying panhandlers with crudely-wrought cardboard signs standing around, jeez, this latest wave of crusty-looking youths? Who writes the ad copy for their signs? I saw one that said some Reverse-Psychology crap like

need money for food but even if you don’t give me any i have a great attitude

or some bullshit like that, with smiley faces and stuff on the cardboard being held by a guy out sweating in the middle of the street, collecting money from people for whatever, I don’t judge, I would give money to him if he would go take a bath, but he doesn’t owe me a report just because I give him a dollar, right? If we had that deposit-bottle thing, I could get mad at him in advance and be like “Hey! Why don’t you go pick up cans and bottles and provide a trickle-down service to the city, sir?” That’d show him. And then I would give him all the empties in my car.

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