Recently a garbage truck went rolling up my street collecting the block’s trash uncustomarily early. I was working on my first cup of coffee when I saw a Teddy Bear lashed proudly to the front of a truck roll past my windows. I nearly spit out the coffee; grabbed my camera and dashed out the door clad only in pajamas and slippers. I had to capture this image in pixels for this was a very fine example of that urban phenomena that I refer to as Truck Mascots. This was a prototypical example, in fact. A garbage man or sanitation engineer or whatever they are calling themselves find a discarded stuffed animal on their routes and lash it to the grill of their truck for luck or bemusement. There is no more of a typical stuffed animal than a Teddy Bear!
The bear wasn’t lashed to the grill, but was tied to the truck’s snow plow mount instead. (Trash trucks double as snow plows when the need arises in Philly.) It’s a slight variation, but I would still consider this an archetypal example.
The truck’s driver appreciated my excitement for his mascot, and we exchanged some warm words on that bitterly cold morning. Thanks, municipal employee! You made my day!