Warning: Marlboro man beware

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By The Staff

It is only fair to inform the trashy folks who drop their butts and bottles on Ussery Road that this is perilous action.

The Marlboro Man could be fined $465 plus eight hours of community service, or if he's affluent, he may choose the $542 fine with no community service.

And the Bud Lite and Diet Pepsi person could face the same fate if caught. What's worse, depending on the weight of litter dropped along the road, the trashy person may have to cough up a maximum of $1,050 in fines and risk having his or her vehicle seized.

It's the law.

Recently a Charlotte TV station reported a special team of officers would be out on the byways looking for litterers. The fine in North Carolina is $170 for one dropped butt. Perhaps South Carolina is more conscious of the fire hazard from a lit cigarette tossed onto the highway berm.

Most people who litter are unaware of the risk they now take in being caught in the act. It is not easy for the average person to identify the litterbug, to get a license number or to chase down the culprit.

Things will change.

The Country Cousins who police the trash on Ussery Road have devised a plan to identify the Marlboro Man and the Bud Lite litterer. One of the cousins is a sort of mad scientist and is prepared to examine the dropped butts and beer bottles, etc. to pull DNA samples from these items.

Furthermore, there are other means of identification from the trash. For example, the cousins have determined that one of the perpetrators wears a size 9 Vi D "Foot Rests" shoe. From this tossed shoebox, the height, weight, sex and perhaps the occupation of the person can be identified.

To avoid these steep fines and to help S.C. Palmetto Pride's anti-litter organization keep the roads neat, the organization recommends we pick up one piece of litter every day. Other suggestions are recycle, keep a trash bag in the car and cover the truck bed so stuff doesn't fly off.

Until the Country Cousins refine their DNA protocol, individuals or groups may want to form a litter patrol in their neighborhoods. The Lancaster County Litter Control coordinator is Patrick Catoe. He can be reached at 286-7907.

Luanne Ussery is a Country Cousin and lives in Heath Springs.