The Tossing Of The Floss
Recently I was walking and spacing out - as I do. It's part of the way I write songs, and slow the runaway train of life down just a bit to keep what's left of my sanity. I noticed one of those disposable floss thingies abandoned on the sidewalk and it made me think. I'm not sure when I started noticing discarded plastic floss tools, but they're pretty common on sidewalks across the nation. I tweeted a few photos of this phenomenon last week - each from a different city. Many have responded with their own photos of tossed floss, on sidewalks, the grass, camouflaged in the dirt among twigs. Clearly it's what's on all our minds. I guess it's better litter than cigarette butts and less gross than used condoms.
I thought I was being clever when I hashtagged my tweets #FlossNToss. I thought I'd made that name up myself but no, I'm a little late to the party. As it turns out "Floss N Toss" is actually a brand name. Is this why we're seeing them on the ground, because of the "N Toss" part? When you put a command into the name of a product, do people just follow it? We are an impressionable lot in the USA. Someone should experiment with a competing brand called "Floss N Tape To UR Forehead" and see what happens.
One tweeter has suggested that while a Floss Tosser might not be uncommon these days, we should be on the lookout for the rare FlossNTosserNFlossAgainer. Certainly nobody picks these up and reuses them - but then of course I have seen people smoking a preloved butt off the sidewalk. How much would you take to pick a floss thingie found on the ground and use it again without washing it? My father has always said everyone has a price. Should we form a pool where everyone chips in five bucks and pays one brave soul to do this for our twisted entertainment? I guess not.
So, here is what I might have learned, walking and spacing out - as I do:
We have absolutely no time these days. Those of us who are lucky enough to be working are probably doing the work of three for the pay of one and have acquired some mad multitasking skills in order to survive. I will confess to sometimes dictating emails into my phone while taking a piss when I have no time... luckily we have Depends instead of "PissNToss" or I might have gotten other ideas.
What I'm saying is let's not marginalize the Floss Tossers. I say, those who Floss and Toss should get a free pass. Who has the coordination to drive, ride a bike or even just walk while hooking those things between their teeth? Hell I find it challenging using those things standing still with the aid of a mirror. They're doing their best in a breakneck pace world to remain hygiene conscious (at least when it comes to their own teeth, eff the environment).
Our parent's generation had it easier. They came up in an era where things were done one at a time - back when simultaneous head patting and tummy rubbing seemed to be enough to blow minds. Well, that era is in the rear view, like a flying discarded plastic sickle with string.
We don't have the luxury these days of flossing in the comfort of our own bathroom with dignity, but we have time to take pictures of Floss N Toss on a sidewalk and tweet or Facebook post them.
P.S. keep your FlossNToss photos coming via Twitter and even here on Facebook and when/if we get a hundred or so, I'll make a bad assed collage (with credit to photographers beneath each photo of course) and make it available to download and print.