Hearing that Mayor Sheila Dixon hopes to spit-shine Baltimore's streets with a snappy new campaign to reform even the worst litterers, Sun readers jumped to help.
Eager to share their wisdom, to save the city money and, most of all, to see how the city would look clean, Baltimoreans submitted to us dozens of anti-litter slogan suggestions -- many of which are even printable.
Some people revealed their inner poet:
"Stash it, Don't Trash it."
"Litter -- It makes the City and Planet Bitter."
"Don't Harm the Charm."
Others figured conjuring Mom might guilt the garbage away:
"Come on, make your mother proud."
"Baltimore is Your Home -- Clean Your Home."
"Hey, I Ain't Your Maid, Pick that Up."
Quite a few folks, figuring the trash blowing down the streets can't possibly be coming from grown-ups, tailored their slogans to youngsters. Youngsters, they apparently think, can't resist the sassy spelling.
Take Steve Alpern. He penned about 10 slogans -- not one of which adheres to Webster's.
All Alpern's: "Pick BMore up." "U Pick Up Baltimore When U Pick it Up." "BMore Z Neat When U Pick Up."
"The spellings are catchy to the eye," explains the Baltimore school system administrator, claiming his job gives him an inside line on what appeals to kids. "If you spell all the words properly, it's kind of boring."
There were nonsuggestion suggestions, many sent anonymously to baltimoresun.com:
One reader proposes skipping the slogan and using the money to buy more trash cans.
Another suggests the city might have bigger issues to tackle -- like the homicide rate.
Others bypassed cute spelling and rhymes to get right to the point:
"Baltimore, it doesn't have to be this filthy."
And another already under fire by this city's powerful rodent lobby: "Don't Feed the Rats."
Meanwhile, a clear movement emerged calling for the reincarnation of what is easily Baltimore's most -- if not only -- beloved cleanup slogan: Trash Ball.
Mayor William Donald Schaefer introduced the game/campaign in the 1970s. As garbage receptacles across the city became impromptu basketball hoops, urging people to "Jam one" in, Baltimore's collective dunk shot improved and, legend has it, the streets looked cleaner.
So retro fans request:
"Don't be a Dirtball, Play Trash Ball!"
"Hook One, Dunk One, Put it Away, Gotta Play that Trash Ball Every Day."
"We should always be playing Trash Ball," a reader concluded. "Bring back what WORKED."