Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Tina;

Dear Tina,

As I look over your life from a distance, I am alarmed at the accumulating detritus. Here you are, the mother of a toddler just getting out of diapers and another child who just turned six in April, and your world is littered with dozens of empty Marlboro Light packs. That’s bad enough, but are those stronger Pal Malls driving you to use that Albuterol Sulfate Inhalant? Or does one of the kids have asthma?

You shop at Food Lion and buy far too much sugary processed stuff. Often, the king-sized enriched plain sandwich bread and some small yogurts are the closest thing to real food that you have in the house. You buy Kicks, Twix, Drumsticks ice-cream bars, Shake ‘n Bake, Toast Scrambles, X-Treme Jell-O, and instant mashed potatoes. Instant? Come on! You never finished filling out the ManPower application, so with no job, don’t you have the time to mash a few real spuds? They’re cheaper, too. And then there are the high sugar, high caffeine soft drinks: Classic Coke, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper (by the way, large plastic bottles are less expensive than the cans). And the Burger King take-out meals aren’t any better. Do you really need that much ketchup? All that junk food might explain your Gas-X habit. How much longer do you think that you can wear size six satin bikini panties? A few Nutri-grain bars aren’t exactly going to balance your diet. By now you realize that I also know what kind of shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, toothpaste, and feminine hygene protection you use; though I haven’t drawn any conclusions from that information (except that apparently, at least you're not pregnant again).

Apparently, your problem with the authorities last March resulted in a judgment of guilty of Breach of Peace and a fine of $160.00. You had to pay up or risk the loss of your driver’s license. Did you pay in time? With money so tight I can’t figure out why you didn’t bother to challenge the Medicaid cut-off date for your older child. How are you going to pay all those doctor’s bills?

And who am I to give advice? I’m just the guy who picked your garbage out of the bushes on my property. The bags were torn open and the junk was strewn around so I had to pick it all up piece by piece. That’s how I came across your name and address on the court papers and all that personal information about you. I could have turned you in to the county sheriff. But I have come to realize that the last thing you need right now is another court case, another fine, and more public humiliation. That obviously wouldn’t be a good thing for your little ones. Instead, all I ask, Tina, is that you get a better grip on your life and your garbage.

Sincerely yours, Mr. Landowner

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