Washington, DC

IMG_0181, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“While it’s not exactly inside my house, there is a special place in my
heart for the trash can, on the corner in front of my house in
Columbia Heights/Petworth-ish neighborhood. Last January, I received a citation from the Department of Public Works, sent via certified mail, indicating an alleged misuse of a public litter receptacle with a $75 fine. Attached to the citation was a “digital picture” of a
piece of junk mail with my name on it in the trash can, and a
photocopy of the evidence, I mean, envelope. Interesting. I learned
that DPW employees are paid to go through the trash looking for
identifying information (mail, dry cleaning receipts, luggage tags) so
they can ticket residents for throwing away personal trash. Awesome
that you can be ticketed for actually throwing trash away, never mind
all the litter on the street and the dirty mattress next to the trash
can. I did go to court, won the case (DPW was a no-show), and ended
up at my real favorite place in my neighborhood, Wonderland’s patio,
for a sweet celebratory happy hour. Moral(s) of the story: 1) Don’t
put anything with your name and address in a public trash can in DC.
2) If you are the vindictive type and want to get back at someone,
this seems to be a fantastic method. 3) DC has some silly rules. 4)
Wilco rocks.”


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