Earlier this week, the West Sussex County Times published a charming little article about a local hero “who devotes a great deal of time and energy to walking many miles clearing litter from near where he lives as well as surrounding areas.” The district’s government is so thankful for his tireless work that they’ve decided to give him the ultimate honor: They’re naming a garbage truck after him.
The litter-picker’s name? David Sedaris.
Yep—that David Sedaris, bestselling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and countless endlessly amusing essays for The New Yorker, not to mention umpteen NPR segments. He moved to the English countryside with his longtime partner, Hugh Hamrick, three years ago.
Nowhere in the article is Sedaris’s day job mentioned, although fans shouldn’t be surprised to hear about this latest accolade: Sedaris himself discussed his garbage-collecting hobby in his most recent New Yorker essay, published at the end of June. The piece describes Sedaris’s gradual descent into obsessive exercise after getting a FitBit. He takes to walking 10,000 steps a day, then 15,000, then 25,000—and begins picking up trash, “spent condoms…empty KFC containers and a great number of soiled Handi Wipes,” as he ups his daily step count:
In recognition of all the rubbish I’ve collected since getting my Fitbit, my local council is naming a garbage truck after me. The fellow in charge emailed to ask which font I would like my name written in, and I answered Roman.
“Get it?” I said to Hugh. “Roamin’.”
He lost patience with me somewhere around the thirty-five-thousand mark, and responded with a heavy sigh.
The article does, however, include a statement from Sedaris himself: “When I first moved to Horsham district three years ago I was struck by the area’s outstanding natural beauty,” he said. “But I was also struck by all the rubbish that people leave lying around the roads. I’m angry at the people who throw these things out their car windows, but I’m just as angry at the people who walk by it every day. I say pick it up yourself. Do it enough and you might one day get a garbage truck named after you. It’s an amazing feeling.” We’re sure The Rooster would agree.