North Carolina has a program, “Swat a Litterbug,” that lets
meddlesome concerned citizens report acts of vehicular littering. This is the perfect program for me–I get to ride around town, pen and paper handy, and jot down the license plate number of any douche bag I see throwing their cigarette butts out of the window. I then go to the website and report the license plate, along with the date, time, and location of the littering incident. It gives me a small sense of satisfaction to imagine the look on strangers’ faces when they get an (unfortunately non-threatening) letter from the NC Highway Patrol, encouraging them to be more responsible about their waste disposal.
My ultimate fantasy would be to retrieve the jettisoned cigarette butt, catch the litter bug at a stoplight, and toss it back into their car yelling, “You dropped this!” But then I would have to run back to my car and try to lose the irate litter bug in Wilmington traffic, which would be difficult with all the stop lights, stop signs, and the occasional stray dog crossing the road. This scenario requires more gumption than I possess, so I usually settle for pressing very hard with my pen as I write the license plate number down and hissing to myself, “I’ve got you now, sucka.”