Sunday, December 19, 2021

That's All He Wrote

 Full Moon

I quit. 

Yesterday was my last day as a Caltrans Adopt-a-Highway volunteer. After eleven years of picking up trash on Highway 156 each month, I am hanging up my grabber, turning in my hardhat, retiring my dayglow orange-yellow safety vest. Someone else will have to clean up after the pig people.

I am not "The Logo" for Caltrans, but it kind of looks like me.

I am not quitting because of any particular reason other than I am tired of doing it and my bad knee balks at skidding down the steepish roadside slopes into the drainage ditches to retrieve thousands of exploded pieces of Styrofoam or the occasional wayward tangled up deflated Mylar balloon or a heaved poop-filled diaper. What kind of Mom heaves a poop-filled diaper out the car window? If you need to assign blame on my exit from the ranks of highway angels, finger idiots like her. I have done my service to the San Juan Bautista community many times over. Now is the time for the next generation to step up.

I like it clean.

These years were not without fun. Every once in a while, friends like Captain Chem or Commander Cody or Chiquita Anita would pitch in to help. Sometimes there were monetary rewards. Once I found half of a a 20-dollar bill sticking up out of the dirt. I dusted it off and checked to see if the serial number was intact. It was complete so I mailed it to the Department of Treasury in Washington, D.C. with a note saying where and how I found it. Sure enough, about three months later, a brand spankin' new, crispy Andrew Jackson arrived in my mailbox. Andrew Jackson was an a$$hole, but he paid for breakfast that day. 

Then there was this story, the day I had to pick up all kinds of panty liners on Highway 101.

But this one just might be the best roadside toy tale in history.

I told, via  Facebook post, the local citizenry of my decision to retire and asked nicely if there might be a person or group of persons who might like to replace me. The responses were lukewarm in terms of volunteers, but there were many grateful and sincere words of thanks and praise for my years-long efforts. I appreciated that and to them and to all of America, I say, "You are welcome."

Peace, Love, and Trashy Memories,


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