A Date with a Paper
By Del Albright,
There I was, lying in the cupboard, minding my own business like any
good napkin, when this paper plate starts coming on to me. Oh, she
was cute all right, all decked out in flowers and looking good.
But like any single male napkin, I played hard to get and not
She kept chatting away, being all flirty, and finally I started to like
the way things were shaping up. Hey, you never know, she might be
She kept telling me that we should get together and go on a date.
You know how paper plates can be. Pretty soon my resistance waned
and I gave in to a date. We decided to give it a shot and I
thought that this might just work out great.
Then, old what’s-his-face decided to take us on a picnic out in the
woods. He loaded us up in his old truck and off we went.
Next thing I know I’m on this picnic table with a bunch of other paper
products and old what’s-his-face has a bunch of his friends gathered
around eating greasy chicken. But my date is nowhere to be found.
I don’t see her anywhere. Now I figured I’ve been stood up.
You know how paper plates can be.
Well, old what’s-his-face finished his chicken and wiped his greasy
mug on me then threw me in this clear plastic trash bag with the rest of
the low life trash. By then I could care less because the possible
love of my life was nowhere to be found.
What’s-his-face threw us in the back of his rig and we headed for
home. As we pulled out of the woods and onto the pavement, I saw
her. Yes, it was her!
There she was, stapled to this fence post with a bunch of writing on her
backside and big arrow pointing to our picnic area. My heart sank.
What’s-his-face left her there, and as we headed down the road I waved
good-bye to her knowing I’d never see her again.
Well, I guess by now you’ve figured out my message here.
This is something many folks do, not realizing that leaving paper plates
stapled to sign posts and message boards, is just another symptom of a
larger problem trail sanitation.
In our crowded world today, we all must make sure we pack it in, and
pack it out. Leaving trash and waste of any sort is something we
must not do. Our trails are too precious to lose because of a
trash and waste problem.
Leaving trash only contributes to campaign by the anti-access folks to
mess with our form of recreation. It gives us a bad image and
makes our next outing less enjoyable. It gives our opponents more
ammo to shut us down and lock us out.
I am fully convinced that our future lies in not leaving our past
Not only do we taint our image, but I can only imagine the disgust of
the poor USFS or BLM employee who has to go around every Monday morning
and pull down paper plates (not to mention pick up trash left over in
campgrounds and on trails). It must cost us taxpayers a lot of
Human waste and associated trash are a significant part of this problem
too. For example, on the Rubicon Trail in one summer period,
35,000 trail users generated 70,000 pounds of human waste. This is
an enormous sanitation issue that we are dealing with.
You can help. You can pack it out. It’s that simple.
Whatever you do, please take the time to pack out your trash and waste.
This includes human waste as well as trash. There are ways to do
it. Please visit my web site for more ideas and links to places
where you can learn more about trail sanitation (www.delalbright.com/rubicon_sanitation.htm).
Del Albright, internationally published columnist, State
Environmental Affairs Coordinator for CA4WDC and BlueRibbon Ambassador,
has authored volumes over the last 20 years on land use, outdoor
recreation, and access. Visit Del’s web site at http://www.delalbright.com
or email Del at firstname.lastname@example.org.