Remember that discussion from yesterday about stormwater pollution and NPDES permits? I have to admit, I’m a cynical soul and I’ve had my doubts that the public education requirements would make any real difference. Tennesseans don’t like the government telling them what is good for them. So I was actually pretty surprised at a bit of drive-by green heckling I witnessed the other day.
To entirely appreciate this story you have to know, First Avenue in Nashville is essentially the back alley for the tourist traps and bars on Second Avenue. All the businesses have their dumpsters back there and a lot of random garbage ends up on First and the sidewalks are sometimes unpleasant. (It’s a really odd choice since First fronts the river with the stadium on the other side and has the potential to be really nice, but that’s a story for another time.) It’s also a large downhill grade that bottoms out at Broadway, the other tourist trap of downtown Nashville. So all the garbage from both often ends up at First and Broadway.
I was idling at the traffic light at First and Broadway watching an employee of Hard Rock Café hosing down the sidewalk around their dumpster. He had quite a pile of random garbage on the sidewalk and I was hoping he wouldn’t wash it into the drain since it would be floating in the Cumberland River a few minutes later (this is literally 100 ft from the river). Right about that time a guy in a giant pick-up drives past me leaning nearly all the way out of the window and yells at the Hard Rock guy “Why don’t you pick it up instead of washing it out into the street!”.
I was torn between delight that he noticed and anger at the level of asshole required to yell at some poorly paid employee about something that small. Even better, right after this happened the Hard Rock employee grabbed a dust pail and started scooping up the garbage. I don’t know if the heckling had an effect or if that was his plan all along, but I was very happy to see both of them paying attention to such a minor detail. I’m not going to claim my cynical heart grew three sizes that day, but apparently the education efforts are working.