I had to drive to the big city this morning because I needed gas for the car and I was out of fresh fruit and vegetables and plain unsweetened notfat yogurt and nonfat cottage cheese, the diet of champions for people with pancreatic issues, and about halfway there I rounded a corner and there was a person standing on the other side of the guardrail waving a sign crazily at oncoming traffic. As I got closer I noticed it was a woman, and she was carrying a trash bag, so I just figured she was hitchhiking and needed a ride, but was going in the opposite direction. However, as I got closer, she turned to face me and waved the sign manically at me. All I could make out was “PLEASE STOP” but it was too late for me to stop, so I kept going for a little ways and thought “Well shit, I have to turn around and deal with this, don’t I?”
I mean, I didn’t know if she was a crazy homeless person who was going to get hit by one of the big rigs and fracking trucks or JimBob in his pick-em-up truck, if it was someone having a mental breakdown, or maybe just some woman in an abusive relationship who was trying to make a getaway. Either way, I’m big enough to defend myself and am ok at these situations and if I read about someone being killed by a truck or hunted down by a psychotic husband I would never forgive myself, so I decided to turn around and deal with whatever this shitshow turned out to be. I got to a straightaway and made a three point turn and headed back because why not and if this is how I go out, it will be a cool story.
Got back to the lady and slowed down, rolled down my passenger window, and asked “Is everything ok?” and she blurted out “Thank God you’re the only one who fucking cares. I’ve been picking up trash for six hours.” She then showed me her sign and I just sat there and took it all in.
Her teeth were nice and she didn’t have scabs on her face so I decided she wasn’t on meth or in any real distress (well, physical distress). I asked again if she needed anything, and she said no and ranted about the environment and trash again (which I agree with her wholeheartedly). I then told her if everything was ok I was going to be on my way, and asked her to please stay out of the road because it is dangerous with all the trucks, and she smiled and I did another three point turn and headed back towards the big city. On my way back home, I did not see her, so either she is off doing something else manic or if a truck hit her it threw her far enough over the guard rail that I didn’t see the body.
Gin & Tonic
I think she was attacked by those turkeys. They’re merciless.
You can make your own yogurt, without any special equipment.
This Swedish fitness trend combines running with picking up litter
Gin & Tonic
@raven: Swedes litter? I’m shocked.
Instant Pot Yogurt for Newbies
@Gin & Tonic: Proly immigrants .
@raven: You can use the stove top or a microwave too.
David Sedaris? Who? Oh, you mean the local litter-picker
No. No you don’t.
But apparently you’re the only one who did, so maybe that’s why these things only happen to you?
How the fuck is it that you were ever a Republican?
This. Though obviously you need milk to start with, so you can only avoid trips to the store that way if you have your own dairy animal.
Was she from Florida?
@raven: “Sterilize and clean all equipment before using…” okay you lost me at…anything that takes any time away from doing anything I actually want to do, which doesn’t include making my own yogurt. I just can’t make myself ascend to this level of crunchy no matter how hard I might try.
Apparently my new 7 in 1 Instant Pot can make yogurt. All I’ve made so far is one pot spaghetti. Pretty tasty, actually and only one stainless steel cooking pot dirty.
To think this country elected Trumpolini instead of her. In 6 hours she undoubtedly did more good for the country than the Orange Menace ever has or will.
Occasionally I used to pick up trash around the neighborhood when I wasn’t working 60 hrs a week. A few people gave me a thumbs up, which was nice.
No Drought No More
I once met a one-man band off Van Ness Ave. in San Francisco (which was dynamited in 1906 as a firebreak) who stood and played in front of a kiosk full of literature claiming the CIA murdered John Lennon. Being a big Beatles fan, I stopped to ask him about it. Trouble was, I had interrupted a song that he was playing to ask. Now, we were the only people within earshot. For a big city thoroughfare, the street at that moment was practically deserted. Still, between chords the guy asked me to wait until he finished. I just laughed instead, and walked on. It wouldn’t surprise me at this point to find out that it was a young David Nunes..
@T S: I don’t eat it so I damn sure won’t be making it. It was a PSA.
Waving arms and yelling like a crazy person probably brings that up to 300 calories.
My sister-in-law sounds like that woman sometimes. She’s a fanatic about her causes, be it saving stray animals or politics. She’s a Democrat, fortunately, so at least her sheer will is on the side of Good.
I ran into her at the grocery a while back and she was ranting about someone leaving their small dog in a hot car with no windows rolled down. She went to the store manager and also called the police. She does not mess around.
As long as she can keep from pissing off the wrong person, she’ll continue to fight for what she believes in.
Hey, don’t you have these groups who get signs up on the roads about how they pick up litter?
Random people have to go out with their bags?
Interesting, when I was driving through France back in the 60’s, every corner where you could stop a car and get out was filled with trash. Have just finished Ian Frazier’s book Travels in Siberia, and everywhere they stopped, it was filled with trash.
John, you stopped because that is what a good person does. Way to go.
You have the best stories. You really should be a reality show..LOL
@Doug R: “like a crazy person”?
Truth be told, you probably have the face. It’s why people would sit and tell me their life stories in NYC.
And caring means you put yourself out there to have people talk to you. That’s not bad
You’re a good man, John Cole.
Last spring, I covered about 6 miles of road, picking up trash. I filled a kitchen sized bag about every 200m.
Driving down that road now that the snow as melted, and it looks just as bad as ever.
Back at it. You fuckers.
John, I suspect that this sort of thing would happen to a lot people, but a lot of them would have kept driving. I like to think that I would have stopped, but you never know with certainty what you’re going to do until you’re tested.
Other options include that you’re simply more perceptive/attentive and that most people wouldn’t have notice the “Please Stop” or paid the sign any attention. Stuff like this might also be happening to a bunch of people but they don’t have blogs/social media that a large number of people will read.
Final option: did you know SEK at LGM? If he had bequeathed a small portion of his weirdness magnet to you upon his death, stuff like this is easily explain this sort of thing.
If you buy ultra-pasteurized milk, you don’t even need to scald it.
You are just such a lovely person, John.
@T S: You really don’t need to sterilize, just good basic clean. Yogurt’s really easy and it is sooo much better than store bought.
BTW, Cole, did you get her number?
He was young, foolish and drunk.
You’re talking about John Cole, a man who can endanger himself with the common peanut butter jar.
PLEASE STOP talking to people on the side of the road.
Given yogurt comes from the very same store that provides milk I see no point in making your own, unless you don’t like storebought yogurt or have cows, in which case knock yourself out.
@Hawes: When I was in 4H, we used to clear several miles of rural roadside each year as part of our civic engagement requirement. We could fill 3-4 farm wagons (roughly 5 yards each with the sidewalls up). And this was almost 40 years ago. People are ever thus, assholes.
I protest–where else will we get these stories? Besides, it’s also how he acquires critters and de-acquires mustard.
That reminds me of some local guys on the radio talking about “snowbank treasures”. They spoke of looking at the remains of those huge snowbanks at apartment complexes and shopping areas to find what people had lost during the winter.
Apparently all the teachers in WV are on strike
Beneath every skilift lies buried treasure waiting for spring meltoff. And also lots of single gloves/mitts.
Mountain highway rest stops hide horrors, slowly revealed as thousands of trucker’s pee bottles emerge from the waning snowbanks.
I will preface this with “Really? Why not ask Chelsea?”
@schrodingers_cat: Have you ever made yogurt from chili pepper stems? Apparently it’s a traditional way to make yogurt in India if you don’t have any starter. Link.
This. The whole point of yogurt is that you’re inoculating it with desirable microorganisms that are designed to out-compete the bad ones. As long as you give the good guys a big head start by using clean containers and pasteurized milk*, there shouldn’t be a problem.
*Many recipes recommend scalding the milk and then allowing it to cool, but this isn’t strictly necessary. Its main purpose is to denature the milk proteins in a way that makes the yogurt thicker after it’s sour. Using ultra-pasteurized milk achieves the same thing and saves time.
@David Hunt: I do miss SEK’s “weird stuff that happens to me” stories. And Old Man Cat.
Ooh, I would watch that!
Acquaintance of mine got killed cleaning up the roadside last month, but it was a drunk driver. At 10:00 Saturday morning. The guy has 2 previous DUIs. Some f*ing people.
@Spanky: That’s the more interesting thing here. Most people would feel a pretty strong diffusion of responsibility in this situation, keep driving, and at some point something bad would happen to that lady. So, good on JC for assuming some bit of personal responsibility for his fellow human. If more people actually took some form of action when they believe something doesn’t seem right, instead of just adopting the behaviors of everybody else, we would have had another Supreme Court Justice, Trump would have been booted mid-primaries….
@zhena gogolia: @rikyrah: I would watch that too. Could it also include Cole ranting about Republicans and the things they do? Kind of like Balloon Juice in TV form. Pets, gardening, family, crazy adventure and political rants.
@Yarrow: Nope. Neither have I heard anyone making yogurt that way, Indian or otherwise.
Oh god that’s horrible. On every level.
@JustRuss: Oh, yeah. I’ll be missing him for a long while yet. Every time I go to trim the number of people I follow on Twitter, I can’t bring myself to unfollow his account.
My Mom is now 86 years old and lives out on a country road.
In fine weather, she once or twice a week walks half a mile away from the house and back, picking up roadside trash the while.
IMHO, none of the neighbors who drive past this tiny stooped white-haired old lady on one of her walks will ever again litter on that road, but it’s a place where pickups full of kids from town can throw their cans and fast-food trash late at night, so there’s a never-ending harvest of aluminum and plastic.
She picks up the trash, but her eyes are on the wildflowers and the birds.
This could be the opening scene of a pilot of a great Netflix series.
I always thought chihuahua cheese was a bite too far.
needs to be reformatted as a haiku
Mountain stops hide horrors.
Trucker’s pee cans slowly rise,
emerge from snowbanks.
you are welcome.
Here’s another one, putting their life at risk, in a slightly more dangerous situation. As well intentioned as they are, they presumably suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder.
@Roger Moore: @T S: I’ve been using an immersion circulator (sous vide machine) for yogurt for about a year and it makes the scalding step very easy.
Excellent! Bashō would be proud.
@realbtl: This is a solid truth.
For those of you who are too young and never saw this, or never lived in Tennessee, where we were when this PSA by the state came out, I offer you the famous Tennessee Trash anti-litter ad. Enjoy.