Suppose your child came home from school and said, "Mom, Johnny used a four-lettered word to express himself to the math teacher today." What kind of four-lettered words would surface in your mind? Would you think of action verbs like "work, take, bend, pick, help, or show"?
Chances are you would think that little Johnny was a bad boy, and he probably used some of the unmentionable four-lettered words. Now I want my readers to concentrate on how the six aforementioned action verbs come together to meet a five-lettered noun -- "trash" -- and how it all comes together. Perhaps our hardworking Ogden merchants and city officials may think "work" is a profanity to our local 25th & Washington social gangs.
The Men of Weber has cleverly come up a proposal in which city officials and merchants may challenge the loitering 25th & Washington locals and, in the process, have a bang of a time doing so. Jake, MOW's anti-littering mascot, is the catalyst or the cheerleader to help keep Ogden clean. Jake was a finalist on NBC's Today Show for Top Dog back in May. Perhaps we could get the Today Show interested in a follow up show should the Men of Weber pull off this anti-littering campaign.
"Take the Jake Challenge" works this way; city officials and merchants will be called upon to assist MOW in obtaining the necessary garbage cans, funds, and dumpsters. Nonprofit agencies will be called upon for transportation to assist MOW's members and volunteers to pick up the trash. With the monetary help of the local community, the club will buy garbage cans and maintain them in areas where there are presently no trash containers. What neighborhoods or intersections do you know are in need of garbage cans?
Local merchants, for a nominal fee, could sponsor a garbage can advertising their businesses with the picture of Jake putting trash in a garbage can on the trash container. The caption under Jake's picture would read, "Even a critter knows a human shouldn't litter." Now, you and I know that Jake does not comprehend signs and symbols nor conceptualize that littering is wrong. But you have to agree that the phrase is very "catchy", or using another four-lettered word, "cute."
Maybe those high-salaried UTA executives could donate portions of their exorbitant salaries to help us maintain garbage cans at the hundreds of bus stops without a trash container. If you think that is a good idea, and a benevolent cause for them to be involved, write personal letters to those executives at UTA. Of course, UTA does not stand for unsatisfactory trash acceptance. Do you think it would be in UTA's best interests to work with MOW in not tolerating trash left behind by bus patrons? The very least the transit authority could do is to provide cargo vans to help us pick up the trash each week. A few homeowners, who have bus stops located on their lawns, are just tired of picking up trash left behind by inconsiderate bus patrons.
MOW will have to satisfy the "what's-in-it-for-me" cravings for the social gangs. The grand prize for a few members of these locals will be to spend Christmas in Phoenix at an NFL game in which the Dallas Cowboys take on the Arizona Cardinals. Grocery store gift cards that limit the purchase of tobacco products are consolation prizes that can be offered with this program.
More details on how this program could work will be on our website at www.menofweber.org and in brochures and flyers to come at a later date. In conclusion, let's formulate a paragraph for those four- lettered action verbs that show action against littering.
"The Men of Weber extends a challenge to the 25th & Washington Street social gangs to help keep the Ogden/Weber area clean. To bend over and pick up trash is a way to show merchants and city officials that you will take the Jake challenge. Jake would love for you to work with him to keep our environment clean."
Johnson lives in Ogden. Watch for a public event at the Amphitheater that will outline this proposal to citizens and civic and business leaders in late July or early August.