Don’t Mess With Texas?
Anyone from Texas, or travelling through Texas, has surely seen the iconic “Don’t Mess With Texas” slogan, often times emblazoned on highway billboards as an admonition against littering.
Once again, by all accounts, Texas is anti-garbage.
But yet even with all this momentum, we still have a classic government agency dysfunction in our midst…
Take a good look at the image below. What are these things?
It looks like plastic, and maybe related to a badminton game?
Well, actually these are part of a boll weevil trap. State employees place these around farm fields to trap boll weevils as a part of a larger plan to eradicate them. This is what the entire trap looks like when it’s upright and operational:
And acting as a minor pest in its own right, this collection of state employees will then leave these plastic, non-biodegradable trap pieces behind in the Texas landscape. Whether the traps are busted or broken, or just not being used anymore, often times their life cycle ends with state employees leaving them as garbage on the ground.
Last time I checked, broken, busted boll weevil traps weren’t a part of Texas’s state seal. Nor are they included in the official state song, or the state pledge of allegiance! And I’ve never seen a single Texas highway billboard singing the praises of a boll weevil holocaust.
But they’re left behind – by state employees – as if this makes sense and they’re some kind of blessing for the Texas landscape.
Nothing confuses me more than state employees caring less about the state than ordinary citizens, people working for the county caring less about the county than people not working for the county, and federal civil servants caring less about the country than people working in the private sector.
So, to recap, you have entomological employees working for The Lone Star State (AKA The “Don’t Mess With Texas” State), leaving behind their non-biodegradable garbage everywhere, for a job, that by all appearances, isn’t even close to being on par with the state-wide anti-garbage mission.
Yes, there are even pot holders:
(Can you imagine a boll weevil re-mix? Neither can I.)