Litter-bugs. From the mouths of babes & sucklings. A bit rude.

I was telling a friend yesterday about the lamentable amount of litter (garbage) in Hopkins, Belize (though they do seem to now be making the effort to clear it up and to teach people about keeping the streets clean) when I remembered something my daughter, Pippa, said when she was about five:-

First, I have to check that my American readers know the expression “litter-bug” ? Do you use that expression ? There are so many words (litter/garbage for example) that are used differently. A litter-bug is somebody who drops litter.

Pippa was standing on a chair looking out at our garden through the hallway window.

“Oh dear …” she said.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Dem dustmen have dwopped lots of wubbish all over de gwass.”

I glanced out of the window. Indeed, there was an unacceptable trail of rubbish across the front lawn, something that would never happen these days.

“Deary me,” I said, “lazy men. Litter-bugs.”

Pippa looked at me.

“They have dropped litter,” I explained, “so that means they have been litter-bugging.”

She nodded her little head and clambered off the chair.

“Daddy is in the kitchen,” I told her, “he will help you eat your breakfast”- and she trotted off.

“Daddy!” I heard her exclaim, “daddy! De dustmen have been buggering on the lawn!”

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  She is widely travelled and writes regularly for magazines and blog sites.  Her sketches are on her web site .  Her books are available from Amazon and on Kindle, or can be ordered from several leading book stores.

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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist.  Her books are available as e-books on this site:-            “A Call from France”          “French Sand”         ”The Man with Green Fingers”        “Saying Nothing”

They are also available on Amazon & Kindle, or can be ordered as paperbacks from most leading book stores and libraries.

Posted on 11/07/2012 by Catherine
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  • Kim Dixon

    Funny! Yes, we Americans use the term litter bug. We used it growing up in our family. Littering was/is not tolerated. Once, when my son was a little guy (maybe 10 or so), we were driving down the road and he threw a gum wrapper out the car window. I was horrified. This is something we would never imagine doing when I was young, which of course stayed with me as an adult. I pulled over and turned the car around to drive back to the place my young litter bug threw out the wrapper. I parked the car and got out with him to find the wrapper. He was horrified and could not understand why I was making such a big deal about it. I’m not sure if he litters now at the age of 24 (he definitely doesn’t do it in front of me), but I’m thinking/hoping he does not. All of this said, I’m not sure which is worse –buggering on the lawn or litter bugging on the lawn!

    • Thanks for your post! Litter is something that grieves me so much whenever I am in Belize – particularly on the beach in Hopkins. Backward people I suppose.

  • Helen Nuce

    There would have been serious ‘hell to pay’ for littering in my youth. Litter-bugs were not tolerated.
    I once made a fellow who was standing in my driveway go pick up the beer can he tossed across the country road right in front of me. He was quite upset, but I made it clear I would not tolerate someone throwing trash in what I considered my front yard.
    Yesterday I did see some people in Hopkins raking and burning in two previously untouched yards. Was suprised and pleased.

    • Wouldn’t it be great if the people of Hopkins twigged that litter is not a good idea. I know a lot comes in off the boats … but that doesn’t mean that the locals should not pick it up. What is the way forward ?

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