Peruse the front pages of your local newspaper from the month of April in any year, and I’ll wager at least one issue was sacrificed for that evergreen ritual of informing readers that after roughly three months of winter, spring is now here, as if the editors themselves had discovered it or at least were instrumental in negotiating its release. The word ‘finally’ is usually stuck in there for good measure, suggesting the annual season’s fortuitous arrival was no sure thing this time round, and we should be thankful. And just in case you’d forgotten what spring looks like, or how one is expected to behave during its roughly three-month reign, the article is accompanied by a picture of people eating ice cream, pale employees in short-sleeve shirts taking their lunch breaks near a fountain, or a young, athletic man throwing a frisbee to his dog. Seven times out of ten the picture’s subject will be framed by a foreground of colorful blossoms shooting out of the ground. This is headline news. Its purveyors are called journalists.
But what these intrepid story-breakers don’t want you to know is that spring has a dark side. After Katrin and I had read in the paper a few weeks ago that spring was finally here, we unboarded the windows and ventured into the out-of-doors to learn for ourselves just what all the fuss was about. With Lloyd in the stroller we headed for a neighborhood park in search of spring. And, in fact, along our route we saw indisputable evidence of a seasonal shift. There was a long line at the ice cream shop. People were taking their lunch breaks near fountains. Off in the distance, a young man was playing frisbee with his dog. So, it was true. And just when I was starting to think the papers were on to something, we got to the park and saw this:
Apparently we weren’t the only ones who’d read the headline. Not only were we not the only ones to have got the news, the news was by now so old that people were already on to something else. The only sign that this park was recently teeming with humans was that it was now teeming with enough of their paper waste to start your own daily rag – so you could print the second half of this story. Such complete lack of consideration for others is hardly limited to the Neustadt, the neighborhood where we live, but it is far more widespread and one of the reasons our springs here are numbered. From April until September local public recreation areas will regularly be trashed, spoiling the fun for those who don’t want their toddlers picking up sticky paper plates or walking through broken beer bottles. Is it so hard to find a garbage can? Is it that tempting to smash your bottle against a tree trunk? Is it too challenging to remember others want to relax outside as well?
Is it autumn yet?
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 at 20:41 and is filed under Chris, Dresden, Germany, Society, Splenetic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.