Monday, May 2, 2011

Trump, trinkets, and trash…not in that order

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.

yard 040

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? 


  1. Hello, funny lady. For a second there, I thought you stated that next time you were going to bring along an industrial sized "thong", but now I see it's "tong".

    Kudos to you for participating in roadside cleanup.

    Watching The Real Housewives of whatever city is current, keeps me young. Gives me good ideas for my next plastic surgery:)


  2. I congratulate you on the annual cleanup. I am a tad concerned about your TV choices.

  3. @donna
    An industrial sized thong would have been fitting for the neighborhood. Never seen the Real it worse than Two and a Half Men?

    Fortunately they aren't my choices, I just endure them (occassionally) in the father of my children. If I were going to induldge in rotten TV, I'd watch Jerry Springer or perhaps a syndicated morning news show. Yech.


  4. Did you ever listen to the band called Primal Scream?

  5. One of you needs headphones? For his TV or your ...?
    How do I stay young - well my hair started going grey in my mid-twenties, and thirty years later it is still going grey. (BTW was asked if I got my hairdresser to colour it, nope all natural, like the garden ;~)

  6. @Benjamin Vogt,
    Don't think I've heard them, but the hubby undoubtably has. They sound as if they have unkempt hair, ratty t-shirts, and "The Celebrity Apprentice" playing in the background.

    I need a cone of silence around the computer station, like in all those sci-fi books. Barring that, it seems to be that I need to rustle up the garage muffs I wear whilst mowing the lawn. One downside, they pull my hair out when I pull the muffs off. Ugh.

    You are so lucky to have fab hair au naturel...mine is mouse brown naturally, and so I am in a permanent cycle of coloring it.


  7. I can't quite understand the allure of reality TV, or most specifically, Donald Trump. I have a one-word adjective for him and it's too pejorative for this narration, if you get my drift. Ditto for Charlie Sheen.

    I tend to think that this whole "staying young" craze is overrated.

    Kudos for the slime detail!

  8. Our job corps center's Earth Day clean up was postponed due to snow. We go out tomorrow. Thanks for the tips! I'll let you know if I beat any of your top finds.

  9. @Grace Peterson
    I'm with you on the reality tv bit. Awkward situations and putdowns seem to encapsulate the genre as a whole. There is enough of that in life without watching it on TV.

    @birds, bees, berries, and blooms,
    Snow? Poor thing, even Alaska hasn't had snow in a couple of days (or was that minutes). Good luck at cleanup...and wear your gloves!


  10. We clean up the part of the road that is on our property and it turns up a surprising amount of beer bottles, cans, shot bottles, broken glass, tires and empty cigarette packs. It's not very large - a few hundred feet. I am concluding that most people that drive up and down our road are wasted.

  11. I hope you had a good scream. I feel that way when I have to pick up the trash from the road that runs by our house. It is a sever curve and when people need both hands to negotiate the curve they toss out whatever is in their hand. I have had some interesting items too. I have mentioned to my DB that I should keep a log of all the ummmm stuff I find. Then have some psychologist analyze it. Then he would probably say I was compulsive since i kept track. Oh well.

  12. @Faith
    I thought your neighbors in Wasilla would've had more of a problem with that than Willow.... When you start finding drug paraphanelia, then you know you've hit rock bottom.

    I only thought about the scream. It was too late at night to do that sort of thing in my neighborhood. People might assume the worst.

    Maybe one day you'll be lucky and someone will be counting a wad of cash when they attempt the curve.


  13. You MUST avoid the Trump at all costs!! LOL

  14. great job on your clean up - that's a lot of trash! Being a germphobe and reading what you pulled in last year, I'd need to bring a box of latex gloves. Definitely the hazmat suit.

  15. I have been waiting until you posted again so I could nip in here, after everybody else had moved on, and say...

    The Last Trump.

    (Well it made me happy at least).

  16. @Wendy
    A hot shower afterwards takes care of most of the problem. Still shivering from the used needle though...yech.

    @James A-S,
    I congratulate you, sir.



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