Or maybe it just rolls into a lake

Lisa discovers the amazing hygienic propensities of Minneapolis:

We decided if you played Highway Bingo on Minneapolis’s streets and highways, you couldn’t include discard items of any kind. There were none. I mean none. I told Andy, if we saw a piece of trash we’d have to pull over so I could photograph it, as it would be the only piece of trash existent on Minneapolis highways. It’s not that California highways are littered. They are actually pretty clean.

But you usually see the Sheriff’s Work Program crews out there in their orange jumpsuits. Or you see the orange plastic bags full of trash neatly stacked and waiting for pick up. In Minneapolis, there was no evidence whatsoever to indicate that there had EVER been any trash. This leads to only these conclusions:

1. All trash is magically picked up at night by invisible crews of Keebler Elves and hobbits.

2. There is no packaging in Minnesota, therefore no trash.

3. There is a force-field in Minnesota that automatically locks car windows in the closed position so they can’t be opened to dispose of trash.

I spent a couple of days in Minneapolis, with my children in tow, and we encountered lots of packaging. What’s more, the car windows were all working, despite my out-of-state plates. (You’d figure we, as interlopers, would be targeted by the force field.)

So I figure it’s the hobbits and elves. And this being summertime, the nights are short, so they have to work fast.


  1. Brian J. »

    2 July 2009 · 11:33 am

    Wisconsin is also very clean. Both are northern states. Nine and a half months of the year, it’s too cold to roll down the car windows for any reason whatsoever. Of the other two and a half months, two are spent “up north” (aka at the cabin in the woods) and the other is what the locals refer to as “hot,” usually about 80 degrees, where the car air conditioning is on and they don’t want to roll down the windows.

  2. CGHill »

    2 July 2009 · 11:41 am

    So if there’s any roadside debris, it’s from interlopers from out of state. I can believe that.

  3. Lisa Paul »

    2 July 2009 · 12:55 pm

    Well, we were interlopers and we weren’t about to throw out any trash. Minnesota has a “conceal and carry law”. People were packing heat at public parks and swing dance venues. Who knows what they’d do to out-of-state litterers. Especially those in rental cars with Georgia plates.

  4. Jeffro »

    2 July 2009 · 2:34 pm

    Yep, we can pack heat in Kansas too. If there is anything that would set us off, it’s out of staters littering. It’s like Dodge City all over again. The litter isn’t packaging, it’s ventilated tourists and shell casings.

  5. Closet Atheist »

    2 July 2009 · 4:07 pm

    We have CCW and still the dipsticks (local and turistas) throw stuff out of windows, like lit cigarettes during a Burn Ban.

  6. McGehee »

    2 July 2009 · 7:40 pm

    Georgia, too, has CCW — but perhaps we’re more tolerant of litterers because it means we get to see our state prisoners doing something worthwhile now and then.

  7. fillyjonk »

    3 July 2009 · 7:55 am

    Around here, I think some of the trash comes from people who put it in the open backs of their pickups and then are AMAZED when they reach their destination and find that the trash has “magically” disappeared.

    I have seen the fluid-physics of laminar air flow interacting with empty Sonic drink cups in the back of pickups on several occasions. Every time I was tempted to pick up the trash, chase after the person, stop them, and go, “Hey, you dropped this.”

    We have an enormous litter problem in my town.

  8. Lisa Paul »

    3 July 2009 · 8:02 am


    I, too, take odd comfort in seeing the orange jumpsuited teams from the SF Sheriff’s Work Program. Although it would be more satisfying, in a purely cinematic way, if they were in chains. And chanting. And guarded by a fat guy yelling, “What we have here is a failure to communicated.”

  9. McGehee »

    3 July 2009 · 3:21 pm

    And guarded by a fat guy yelling, “What we have here is a failure to communicated.”

    I applied. They weren’t hiring.

  10. Lisa paul »

    3 July 2009 · 3:39 pm

    George Kennedy already snagged the job.

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