Picking up trash while jogging, called plogging, is a fitness trend that started in Scandinavia and is spreading faster than hamburger wrappers in a gale.
Armed with heavy-duty trash bags and gloves, ploggers run and clean up the countryside at the same time, bending and squatting as they swoop up crumpled soda cups, plastic straws and abandoned sofas with relentless floral patterns and sinking cushions. Actually, I suspect they leave the ugly sofas for a yet-to-be-hatched fitness group of soggers — joggers with a sag wagon who clear the landscape of sofas, recliners and mattresses.
I greatly admire these energetic planet-saving ploggers, but I wager that this trend started many moons ago and indoors. It was triggered by the first cave woman who squinted out her living-room cave fissure and screeched, “Holy maggots! Company’s on the horizon. Looks like your mother. Clean up this stinking hole fast!”
What followed was a heart-racing hubbub of jogging and picking up rancid pelts, gnawed shin bones and moldy moonwort, cattails and tubers.
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times, don’t leave piles of duck entrails in the middle of the entrance for someone to slip on in the dark,” the plogging wife hollered. “I want all of this trash kicked into crevices now.”
Ploggers today follow the same fitness routine at the first hint of company, but their hidey holes are more sophisticated.
“Holy Moses! Your high school buddy Howard just called. He’s in town and will be here in 15 minutes,” I shouted before one frantic plogging routine. “Load the dishwasher and kick the dirty clothes under the bed. I’m coming through with a broom and sweeping piles of magazines and anything else in my path into the basement.”
While jogging, we kicked, squatted and swooped at cobwebs spiraling like curly fries from ceilings and chair rungs. We plogged for a sweat-rendering 15 minutes until our guest rang the doorbell.
“House looks nice,” Howard said. “Now show me that giant tiger oscar you’re always talking about.”
I blanched. “The aquarium’s in the basement and it’s a little messy down there,” I said as I slowly opened the basement door.
It looked like piles of duck entrails on the steps, but we were able to safely sidestep them.
Marti Attoun’s “Booth 186: My Secondhand Career in Vintage Corsets, Moose Heads and Other Moth-Eaten Antiques,” is available as an e-book on Amazon.