Hypodermic Needle

I volunteered on Saturday morning. Funny how an event billed as "tree planting" turned into "picking up litter on a highway median." The area's gotta be clean before you can plant trees, though, so I get it. The majority of the volunteers were kids, so with our bright safety vests and trash bags, we must have looked like the world's youngest chain gang to the cars whizzing by.

You'll find a lot of interesting things cleaning a highway median. Mainly there are beer/liquor bottles. I found an unopened tall can, but figured since it was the AM and there were children, I would just toss it. Better than beer, I also found a plastic folder containing the deed to a Rolls Royce. I threw it out, but maybe I should have tracked down the car and been like, "This is my car now, and I have the documents to prove it!" The headlines would read, "From Sanitation Volunteer to the Flyest Driver in LA." I'd have mad honeys in my car and we'd go for joyrides, but we wouldn't litter out our windows, because even though I'd have come a long way from cleaning others' trash, I wouldn't forget where I came from. You know, a modern day "Jenny from the Block."

However, the most disturbing thing that was discovered was a hypodermic needle. A little girl comes up and says, "Uh, I found a needle..." On the walk over to the syringe, I panicked. As a kid, it was firmly entrenched in me that if I were to see a needle, I was not to touch it, and to tell an adult. Clearly this girl had learned the same lesson, but now I was the adult. I may have gotten older, but no one ever told me what the adult is supposed to do in this situation!

I think we improvised a decent solution given the circumstances, but it wasn't following the letter of the law, which should have been adhered to considering the letters of this law spell A-I-D-S. And while AIDS isn't a goal of mine (it's not on my ten-year-plan anyway), I'd rather contract it through something fun like sex than wading through trash on a dirty freeway median, thankyouverymuch.

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