183. A Cleaner River (1)

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The three brothers were sitting on their boat, having a few beers and talking about the good old days. As they talked, they watched the trash float by on the St. James River. Their conversation turned to the trash.

"It didn't use to be like this," said Manny. "Remember how we used to go swimming in this river? I wouldn't put my big toe in this river nowadays. There's no telling what disease you'd catch. Time was when people knew that trash went into trash cans. Nowadays, the streets, the woods, the public parks, and the lakes and rivers are just huge trash cans without lids."

"Not to mention the freewaysólast night on the radio they reported a refrigerator in lane one and a washing machine in the middle of an off-ramp," said Moe. "And almost every day drivers have to dodge mattresses, ladders, and tires on the freeways. And what about all the graffiti on the freeway signs?"

They all agreed that slobs were making America ugly. Then Jack had an idea. "Look, since we're all retired and we have the time and energy, why don't we do something instead of just complaining? We can't clean up everything, but maybe we could clean up our river." They liked this idea, and talked about it for another couple of weeks. Manny suggested a name for their effortóthe Green Fleet, an organization devoted to turning the St. James River blue again.


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