This post is written under extreme duress. Currently, “The Celebrity Apprentice,” brainchild of Mr. Donald “Wheaties in my hair” Trump, is playing loudly in the background as I vainly try to type a coherent sentence, or at least, one that doesn’t involve the phrase “you’re fired.” I would turn it off, but Father’s Day is coming up, and this counts (in my book) as a generous gift.
I think I was set to write something about the annual citywide Cleanup Day (which is actually a week), how I filled six bright orange bags with trash alongside a freeway, and what interesting bits and bobs I discovered along the way. How difficult this task has become, as I try to block out the sounds and sights of our cultural heroes. “Low down, dirty back stabbin’…she been vicious, honey….” Who could not admire a person that says all this in front of a table full of peers and the Donald plus a national audience, and in a manner that implies the subject of the diatribe is not in fact two places down the table from the ranter.
OK, the channel was changed momentarily to a “Closer” rerun, so I am able to tap out a few pertinent sentences. In my experience (and I’ve been doing cleanup day since I was a kid), the type of rubbish depends on the area of town. I cleaned an area of downtown once (15th and Denali, for those that want to know) and my top three finds were 1. a used drug needle, 2. a pornographic magazine, 3. a used prophylactic, and 4. a car stereo. Quite a haul. Next time I clean there, I’ll bring my industrial sized tongs and a HAZMAT suit.
My finds this year were rather less exciting. Top picks: safety goggles in great shape, an ice scraper, two golf balls, and a race car-themed kids shoe. I usually find money every year, too. Not so this year. I suppose my site next to the freeway is to blame. The trash is more of the fast food, beer bottle, mattress, and broken bumper variety. A road near a high school is the way to go if you want to find money. Dollar bills are common, but once I found a ten. Who says virtue is it’s own reward?
The Donald and team are back, so I can no longer refrain from mentioning that one of the contestants has dark glasses on at all times (and most unfortunately, poor soul, teeth that resemble mahjong tiles). Isn’t there a song about “…a future so bright you gotta wear shades?” And is landing on “The Celebrity Apprentice” indicative of a bright future? Another struggles to grasp the basics of the English language. Endearing in a two year old or immigrant to this nation, depressing in a born and raised adult U.S. citizen in an industry and role that puts them in the public eye.
Next year, I must remember to bring an extra pair of latex gloves, as picking up slimy cardboard and dripping wet fast food bags with ripped up gloves is akin to picking up slugs with bare hands. Who does that? The Last Frontier Gardener is admittedly squeamish with slime, but the whole experience was improved by a medium coating of road dust from head to toe, wind blowing said dust in my face, and the beep, beep of friendly passersby.
I’m now hearing a commercial for a beauty product, hawked by a well known thirtysomething actress that appears to be untouched by age, sun, or the genetics of aging. I bitterly console myself that strong, bright light will do that. I should have the kids tote movie lighting around after me, or wear dark glasses everywhere, indoors even. She asks “how do I stay young?” OK, that’s it. I can’t hear any more. And now “Two and Half Men” is on. Must turn off TV and have a primal scream.
How do you stay young? Any Trump, TV, or trash lately?