Sometimes after the parent-baby class I take Audrey to, a few other moms and I invade a small grungy pizza joint around the corner with our strollers and small children. We did this today, and since Audrey was clinging to her pizza when it was time to go, I let her walk out of the place holding her food.
While we meandered up Pine Street at a very slow pace to our parking spot where the meter had expired ten minutes ago, Audrey stopped to pick up a flattened, chewed-on red straw off the sidewalk. I batted it out of her hand. "Ick," I said.
Normally, of course, I would direct her to the nearest trash receptacle and give her a big high five for cleaning up. But she was holding food, so my first concern was about cross-contamination. Further complicating matters, no trash receptacle immediately presented itself. From experience I knew that it would take a day and a half to find one at the rate we were going. So I, extremely dutiful citzen though I usually am, left the straw and kept walking.
"There's a trash can right here," I heard a voice behind me say. I turned to see a man bend down to pick up the offending straw.
"Oh, I didn't drop that...she picked it up..." I started.
"Yeah, and I saw you take it right out of her hand and drop it on the ground again." To further prove his point, which must be that people like me are a tragic drain on the patience of others, he bent down and picked up another peice of random garbage (with which I'd had no dealings)and stalked around the corner to deposit it appropriately. "You should show her where the trash can is so she knows where to put her pizza crust when she's done with that," he bitched, sashaying past us in a huff.
I stared at the back of his plaid wool blazer.
How could I explain that we would never waste good pizza crust?