Please take a moment to read this semi-friendly communication behind a semi-neighborly sign about your semi-daily affront.

Mr. Banana Peel Bandit:

So we’re gonna start this again, eh?

Every day last spring, summer and early fall, or at least three or four out of seven days, there it’d be. Another disgusting, disintegrating testament to your laziness and self-perceived privilege. A new banana peel on the top of the garbage dumpster in the parking lot of the park near my neighborhood, baking in the sun, turning mushy and black, an odious scent drifting into the noses of unsuspecting passersby.

Three passersby, to be precise – me and my two dogs.

(To be fair, it probably doesn’t bother them much; they’re known to stick their noses directly into other dogs’ piles, after all. But we aren’t dogs… Are we?)

I say the semi-daily offense is a “new” banana peel, but you and I both know it’s actually several hours old by the time the dogs and I come by on our midday constitutional. Sometimes you pile ‘em up there, day after day.

Not that it bothers you, either.

But, as you can see, it kind of bothers me.

It’s not the smell, so much, or the sight of the blackening carcass of a once noble piece of fruit. No, it’s what the whole situation says about the state of our society that really gets stuck in my craw.

Kinda like a decaying ol’ banana peel.

I mean, seriously, is anyone ever truly in such a hurry they can’t take an extra 30 seconds to get out of their vehicle and lift one of the lids on a damn garbage dumpster?

You, I guess. Gotta get to work, right?

Photo of a garbage dumpster with a sign taped to it.

That’s why I slid this note behind the semi-neighborly sign I taped to the side of the dumpster. Glad you took the time to get out of your truck to find it, by the way. If only you’d do the same to dispose of your banana peels, we wouldn’t be engaged in this semi-friendly, if not face-to-face, communication.

You’ll note the “Mr.” in the salutation. 

It’s there because I’ve always imagined you to be a “Mr.,” in the gender aspect if not the respect the title is meant to show, and probably white, too. Who else – I’ve asked myself many times while avoiding your rubbish – but a lazy, privileged white man would toss trash out the window of his pickup, leaving it cooking in the heat of the day for someone else to come along and clean up? 

And, yes, in my mind’s eye it’s always a pickup.

With naked woman mudflaps behind the rear wheels.

Gun rack in the back window. 


Unfair, perhaps, but that’s the image that springs to mind every time.

Of course it’s generalizing. Labeling. Pigeonholing, even. 

But there are times when one is forced to pigeonhole, like when some jackwagon is pulling up day after day and tossing crap out the window that even pigeons won’t touch, leaving it for the kid who, later, at his mother’s direction, heads over to yonder dumpster to dispose of the picnic waste.

And you’re thinking, Jeez, dude, lighten the F up! It’s just a freakin’ banana peel. Get over it.


At the end of the day it’s not the biggest of deals to me. I toss in my dogs’ doings, making sure to brush in your crap in the process so Picnic Boy doesn’t have to deal with it. The stench? Not the end of the world, either, especially for someone lobbing in bags of shit. Literally.

But I just gotta ask –

Where’s your dignity, man? Pride? Honor?

What’s dignity got to do with bananas? you’ll think out loud. Pride? Gimme a break, you’ll say, flinging another peel onto the dumpster lid before peeling out in that big, bad truck of yours, off to another 7-to-4. Just what the hell is honor these days, anyway.

Like I said, doesn’t bother you.

O.K., well, have a great day, Sir Naked Woman Mudflaps.

Gun-Rack Jack.

Great White Wanker.

Banana Peel Bandit.

Just watch you don’t slip on it.

‘Cause one day I’ll be walking in the morning to avoid the dog-day-afternoon heat and catch you in the act. I’ll snatch that already browning peel off the dumpster lid and hurl it – splat – against the back of your truck, watch the slimy thing slide down to the ground, past the females who would never give you the time of day, not even in your wildest privileged dreams. You’ll have to be late for work so you can go through a wash; wouldn’t want that muck damaging your truck. Right?

Just one last thought before I let you go, something your mama maybe failed to mention – 

It’s the little things. Always the little things.

Image of garbage dumpster with banana peels on lids
Two days later – clearly the semi-friendly sign had no effect on Gun-Rack Jack.
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Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), proud introvert, veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, and big-time reader. As they say, if you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff. A ginger, too - ergo the "Red" - although some of it's going white. Cinnamon-Sugar, I call it. Tattooed to boot; seven so far. At age 54, I'm stilling crankin' AC/DC & Metallica, but now and again I spin some Eric Church and Black Uhuru, too. I love hanging out with my (much) better half, spending time with our kids, writing, hiking, riding my mountain bike and reading.

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Aliens & UFOs? Far Out, Bishop! - IV Words - The Progressive Perspective · June 9, 2021 at 1:38 pm

[…] about crooked politicians, young women who wear – gasp! – jeggings to school and at least one irritating son-of-a-bitch who pitches his banana peel onto the top of the dumpster at the local park every morning… […]

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