You, Sir, Are My Hero Vol. 4

Photo by PoPville flickr user District Shots

Thanks to a reader for sending:

“While on Third Street NW waiting to turn onto NY Ave by 395, I noticed something that is sadly typical. A driver lowered his window and proceeded to throw an empty water bottle onto the street. I proceeded to roll my eyes, mutter under-breathe curses towards said driver and wonder why nothing ever happens to people that litter, despite the ample signs warning of nominal fines.

As I crept up 3 feet and stopped for the 15 second light, something unusual happened. My hero of the day arrived on the scene. A man wearing a DCFD shirt got out of the drivers’ side of his car and proceeded towards the litterbug’s car. Without any words exchanged, Mr. DCFD shirt picked up the bottle and threw it back in the litterbug’s vehicle. He then strode back to his car and I flashed him the thumbs up sign of approval.

Though the litterbug unsurprisingly threw the bottle back out on the street, Mr. DCFD shirt stood up for those of us that wish we could take the action he took. And, that’s why this gentleman is my hero of the day.”

You can see previous nominees here. Should you spot a quiet act of heroism along these lines please do send an email with a brief description and the neighborhood where it was witnessed to [email protected] or tweet @PoPville.

40 Comment

  • Good way to get shot, depending on the neighborhood you’re in.

  • Awhile back I witness something equally disgusting and sad on my block by 14/FL NW. But I got revenge and it felt awesome! I was walking to Streets Market to pick up some dinner and as I passed a parked car with two guys sitting in it, the passenger threw out right in front of me a Wendy’s bag and a drink cup. I made eye contact and the guy shot a look at me like “just try”. Of course they both look like they were probably carrying a weapon or two so I just kept on my way. About 20 minutes later on my way back home I passed the same spot and decided to pick up the trash since it was about 50 ft from the front door of my building. As I reached down to pick it up I noticed the passenger door looked unlocked, I tried the handle and the door opened. YUP I threw the trash back into the car and it made a little bit of a mess as I made sure the bag was open as I tossed it in and the lid on the drink cup was loose. For once I got revenge on all the litterbugs I’ve witness over the years and kept shut for safety reasons.

  • I love this!

  • Can we replace the cutesy term litterbug with something more accurate, like disgusting jerk?

  • LOVE this. I hate lazy litterers. I would never have the guts to confront someone myself, but DCFD guy – you’re amazing.

  • That is awesome. I love this series.

  • People litter because the city does nothing to enforce the law. I have seen people change a car’s oil in the street and fling the empty pol cans into nearby yards. I have had large pieces of broken construction machines dumped on the sidewalk in front of my house. Mattresses are aplenty on many DC streets. And nearly everyone has seen people toss fast food filth on the ground right next to trash cans. This will keep happening despite occassional vigilantism unless the city government starts enforcing the law.

    • Enforcement makes little difference. People litter because they have zero respect for themselves, fellow citizens, their city or the environment.

      • Enforcement might make a difference IF there were actually any enforcement. If people were frequently getting caught and actually made to pay fines, I suspect people would think twice about littering.

  • When you see someone litter, that is all you need to know about that person. The action perfectly sums up their attitude towards life, society and whether or not they are a taker or a giver.

  • I was on the metro commute in one morning a few weeks ago when a dude and his girlfriend sat down across from me. a morning metro paper was laying on the seat the guy took and he picked it up, studied the front page for a few seconds then crumpled it up and stuffed it behind his feet on the ground – didn’t even set it aside so someone else might pick it up, he [email protected] crumpled it into a giant wad and stuffed it behind his feet. so I asked him, from across the isle, if he was done with the paper – he looked at me confusedly – I continued, “you know there are receptacles in most stations for the express purpose of recycling these papers?” he gave me a dumbfounded look and I told him to give me the paper, saying i’d recycle it for him. he reached down, grabbed the paper and handed it to me and then said something to the effect of “thanks a lot for the lecture.” I said “you’re welcome” and went back to reading my book.

    later, after exiting the train, I felt kind of bad for calling the guy out in front of his girlfriend…ah, well – at least it didn’t end the way things finished up the time I asked the guy to turn off the music blasting from his phone (no headphones) on the 92 bus one morning a few years ago…

    • phl2dc

      Why feel bad for calling him out in front of his girlfriend if he did this in front of her?

    • “a morning metro paper was laying on the seat the guy took” — The problem here is with THE PERSON WHO LEFT THE PAPER BEHIND, not with the guy who came in, picked it up, and discarded it. If I were a Metro janitorial person, I would be PISSED at the Washington Post Express and the readers who think that leaving a copy on the train is an acceptable way of disposing it.

      • I never pass a source for the Express on workdays, so I appreciate the copies left on the bus seats when others are done reading it. Leaving it laying on the seat is a very different thing from crumpling it up and putting it on the floor, where it is really trash.

      • I disagree – I like finding a random Express to peruse. I haven’t found it to be an issue in terms of unmanageable mess and I regularly ride bus/metro. I find much more trash on the trains than Express copies.

      • Emmaleigh504

        One afternoon (afternoon after work!) I was on a train with a mom and her 3-4 year old. One of his favorite things in the world was picking up the newspapers that were left behind to recycle. The mom told me he also liked picking up other trash, but she tried to discourage that because GROSS. He went up and down the aisle and pulled all the papers from under the seats and where ever they were. It was so cute that he enjoyed it so much, but yet so gross.

  • I perform that same favor for people, too. On a bicycle, one can be especially helpful that way. Usually it’s trash that people have tossed out their windows while stopped at a traffic light. Once, though, it was a lighted cigarette I managed pick up and toss with arc right through the driver’s side window into the passenger floor area.

    • I feel like my name summarizes it, but I salute you and your service.

    • Ouch. On one hand, that’s awesome. Smokers are some of the worst litterbugs. However, on the remote chance his upholstery burst into flame, it doesn’t at all seem worth the risk.

      • +1. My favorite was the guy I passed on the way to the Metro who was having a cigarette right next to a trash can. He then walks two steps, throws his still lit cigarette on the ground, and walks away. He looked so arrogant doing it that I didn’t think saying anything about it would make a difference.

        • I *hate* it when people ignore the nearby trashcans and throw their butts on the ground! I actually said something to someone once – along the lines of “you know there’s a trashcan right behind you” – but the guy just rolled his eyes and walked away.

      • Well he didn’t give a sh!t if his cigarette had landed in an oil spill and ignited in front of the biker so …. the risk is pretty deserved.

    • Emmaleigh504

      ahhhh Reality Bites 🙂

  • I just want to make a bumper sticker/bike tag/tatoo that says “The World is Not an Ashtray.”

  • This type of littering angers me because of its blatant nature, but I silently seethe every time I see a cigarette casually fly to the ground from the fingers of someone who otherwise makes “sustainable” choices in their life. It’s not a mugging of nature, it’s a smugging!

Comments are closed.