By Carolyn South || Contributing Writer

As I’m sure everyone is acutely aware, there has been an abduction on the campus of Franklin and Marshall.  Seven trash cans have vanished into thin air over the past few weeks.  If you’re anything like me (i.e. a responsible citizen) then you have been beside yourself regarding this mysterious incident.  The inexplicable decrease from eighteen trash cans to eleven trash cans has made me wonder why I even bother waking up anymore.  I am determined to get those trash cans back.

Since last semester I have been working towards a goal of using every outdoor F&M trashcan by the end of the year.  Sometimes chasing that dream was the only thing getting me through the week.  Not to brag, but my progress was alarmingly fast.  That is, until roughly four weeks ago when I made the disheartening discovery that almost 40% of my beloved trash receptacles were nowhere to be found.  Instead of tossing my muffin wrapper into the warm embrace of a trusty trash can, I found myself staring at a patch of dirt, unsuccessfully trying to choke back tears.

Although it may be discouraging that my quest has been put on hiatus, and my will to live has vanished along with the trash bins, those are not the only casualties of this disturbing occurrence.  I’ve been told that the world does not actually revolve around me, so I feel I must look at the larger picture, which is the fact that the people of this campus now have far fewer opportunities to throw their garbage in the wrong receptacle.  People are starting to disregard the environment even more than usual.  The eleven oddly placed trash cans are not nearly enough to prevent people from throwing their litter all over the ground.  Just the other day I saw a banana peel right in the middle of a walkway.  Cartoons have warned me against injuring myself by slipping on such things, but not everyone is as cultured as I am.  If a hefty squirrel hadn’t begun to go to town on it, someone could have been seriously injured, or even killed.  The trash can disappearance is not only hurting the Earth, but it is putting the safety of our community at risk.  At this point I believe I have sufficiently raised awareness about this upsetting phenomenon.  So now I shall make my final pleas.  

To Our Campus Community: I know it’s tough not having enough trash bins anymore, but hang in there, and do not litter.  Litterbugs are the worst kind of insect, even worse than lantern flies.

To Whomever Is Responsible for the Abduction: I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you put the trash cans back, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you. I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Freshman Carolyn South is a contributing writer. Her email is

Photo courtesy of the lovely lady herself, Carolyn South.