Thursday, October 12, 2006

Will Man Ever Learn?

Apparently the answer is "No"! Turtles in our waters are dying. Dying from ingesting 'man's' litter...plastic bags, rubber thongs, balloons...and on the list goes. No matter how much information is given, man doesn't pay heed.

Years ago when I was living on Newry Island, a couple of fishermen arrived to have a drink at my bar. One headed up the track to the toilets while the other propped himself up at the bar.

"I'll have a stubbie!" He mumbled.

Politely, I told him I didn't stock 'stubbies' only beer in cans.

He scoffed and growled at me, "What! No stubbies?"

His attitude immediately made me bristle.

"I try to cut down on glass products here on the island because every day I'm cleaning up the beach out front here...picking up broken stubbies that clown fishermen throw overboard when they've finished drinking from them! So, cans are a better they're lighter for me to transport from the mainland."

"You calling fishermen 'clowns'?" the disgruntled fisherman tossed back at me.

"Yes...I am...if a fisherman throws glass stubbies overboard...or anything else for that matter, he is a 'clown'. They can take cartons full of beer out with them but they're too bloody lazy to take the empties back home with them, instead they throw the empty glass stubbies overboard...therefore, they are clowns! I know that none of the broken bottles that end up on my beach are from this island!"

His head sunk down towards his shoulders as he asked, "Can I have a can of beer, please!"

Just as this discourse finished, his mate arrived back from the ablution block.

"I'll have a stubbie, thanks," he asked innocently.

His mate made shooshing noises while making movements with his hands to shut him was obvious he didn't want to start me up again! The rest of the men at the bar laughed out loud. The poor hapless mate had no idea what was going on! I joined in with the laughter...and just waved my finger at them!

The two fishermen came back the following day....and asked for cans!


  1. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Ignorance, laziness and stupidity make up litter bugs - those who don't give a stuff but who will wonder what happened to nature when it's no more!

  2. Yep...all of that describes them well! There is no need to litter. Why people have to throw their rubbish out of car windows, beats me! I taught my staff when on Hinchinbrook Island if they saw any wrappers or whatever on the ground, don't wait for the person next behind them to pick them up, as they will be waiting for the person behind them and so on...pick it up there and then. And, fortunately, this is what they did...I guess they had no other choice...I threatened them that they'd be on the 'first log off, with a teaspoon as a paddle', if they didn't! ;)

  3. Perhaps my mother was the same, no matter how hard I try to ignore a piece of litter or rubbish, I can't, I just have to pick it up and bin it... I've always wondered why I have this compulsion... hmmm

    I saw a volunteer fireman on the tv the other night, having a go at people who throw cigarette butts out car windows, it's unbelievable that people still do that ...

  4. Good on you. Cigarette butts are just as bad - living on the GBR, it drives me insane when I see people dropping their butts on the ground - so much just washes into the ocean and is ingested by turtles. And dugongs and dolphins and whales and the list goes on...

  5. Once, driving back to Glenden (where I was working at one time)from Mackay, the council had had a burn-off along the road from the Peak Downs Highway turn-off that lead along towards Glenden...about 90ks or thereabouts...and all along the side of the road were beer stubbies, beer cans, cigarette packets and coke bottles. The miners from Newlands Coal Mine were culpable as they were the only ones who used that road, apart from a few beef cattle station owners (who had more sense) and sales reps., etc. What a mess it was!