Invasion Of Thompson Creek
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 by Frank Shortt
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The morning mist hangs heavily along Thompson Creek as I go for my daily constitution. Birds cease their chirping and flitting around as I invade their private domain. Squirrels hang from the limbs of Eucalyptus trees, taunting me.  I do not invade their solace intentionally, but just as perpetual passerby. It is my habit to walk there every morning. As I walk I pick up bits and pieces of the results of the invasion. It is very hard for a Neatnik to change his ways. My vision is to see all folks taking a hand in allaying the coming invasion.

The man who lives under the bridge and makes a garden there sometimes greets me with a wave. He has somehow tapped into the water supply under the bridge. His appearance is that of a freedom fighter. He has tried his best to prevent the invasion that is taking place in Thompson Creek. He sometimes emerges up over the edge of the parapet with twisted, rusted tin items, old fruit boxes, and an assortment of other items, results of the invasion.

A lady named Pam has been awarded a commendation by the city of San Jose for her work of trying to allay the invasion of the creek. She has even put up signs occasionally to remind others of the invasion. She too has sensed the futility of delaying the inevitable: the complete takeover of Thompson Creek by foreign invaders.

Another lady and an elderly gentleman are seen most every morning retrieving aluminum and plastic drink containers as they try in vain to head off the invading horde. As hard as they try, they seem to be losing the battle. Too many folks do not count it necessary to say all that the law says. They are too interested in their own agendas to pay attention to the coming takeover. This I find very sad as I reflect upon how things could be.

 I am sure that the food vendors in the nearby mini-mall are not conscious of the invasion. They just continue to serve the delectable delights that mankind demands with never a thought of how it will affect Thompson Creek. As I walk by the creek I see remnants of styro-foam containers protruding from the broken limbs of Eucalyptus trees. I see multiple food boxes and drink containers cast off by the invading horde.

 The drugstore does not seem to be aware that many of the plastic bags they so freely give to customers end up in all of our waterways killing the residents. This is just the same as if they had taken a barrel of poison and poured it along the watershed which empties into the creek.

Extremist You say!! Isn’t it time for one more Paul Revere to ride, not saying, “The British are coming”, but instead saying, “The Invasion is upon us”. We are responsible for the invasion that has already occurred! Yes, the invasion of Thompson Creek by every form of trash that could be imagined. Old dead tires abound. The creek is rife with shopping carts and plastic of all sorts. Styrofoam, rusty tin cans, aluminum cans, broken whiskey and beer bottles, and everything else that folks unwittingly toss over the side of the bridge pollutes Thompson Creek. Is this shades of Wall-e?

Have we no thought for tomorrow? Have we grown so callous that we do not recognize that we are in the middle of a huge invasion? We are being invaded by our own unthinking people. How sad!!

Wouldn’t it be great if some of the merchants of the shopping mall would offer help in trying to overcome the great invasion? What would happen if signs should suddenly appear that read, “Cleanup of Thompson Creek sponsored by so and so eatery? My vision would be complete for that creek!

This is not only a problem for Thompson Creek! This is a universal problem throughout the world. We are paying too much attention to the changes in the weather and not enough attention to what is happening all around us. Isn’t this the way of man; looking back to what has been, worrying about what will be, and ignoring what is happening right before our very eyes?

Big government is perpetually handing out money to local agencies to do something about the environment. What is happening to all the billions of dollars as we see what is happening to our communities? There is trash in every conceivable place that mankind comes in contact with. Trash is accumulating under the freeways, along the avenues, in the creeks, even in our own communities!

A few weeks ago, as I took an afternoon stroll, I ran into a group of girls carrying small bags of trash that they had picked up in their community. They had made signs reading; “Save the Planet”! I do not know who gave them the idea, but I was totally blown away that these 6 and 7 year olds were taking this job so seriously! They even asked me, “Do you pick up trash on your walks”? I replied, “Yes, when I see any I try to do that”. They were totally pleased that at least one adult was trying to help ‘save the planet’! What greater activity could take place in a community than to round up the little children to go on a “Save the Planet” outing. Think of the exercise they would get instead of ‘vegging’ in front of their tekkie devices. Are we all too busy to pitch in to such a worthy cause? I think not!