Well, here’s something.
Longtime LoCO readers no doubt hold a special place in their heart for “Coney,” the beloved road conditions spokesperson who made his debut in these pages in January 2016, as best we can tell.
Coney was a smash viral hit for a while there, and Outpost readers came to depend on the goofy dude for stable, sober road condition updates when required. To this day, you can still see his phiz cluttering up the LoCO Highways page.
Back then Coney was so popular, in fact, that Caltrans HQ wrote to ask us to use his brilliant image in their internal communications. LoCO granted this request, and maintain in our legal files examples of such communications dated October 2017, with proper attribution. (See, inter alia, here and here.)
Coney went quiet for awhile. There were rumors around the office that he did a stint at a Beverley Hills rehab facility, fame having been thrust on him at a too-tender age. We don’t want to talk about it.
But then recently we got word that Caltrans had got itself a new mascot, and … whaddaya know! Rising up from the sewers like the underground-dwellers in Us comes the dipshit you see on your right!
“What on Earth is that abomination?” you ask. “Did they learn nothing from Poochie?” Great questions. The answers: That abomination is a thing that Caltrans is calling “Safety Sam,” and no they did not.
“Safety Sam.” Cool hat, bro!
“Safety Sam” got his name from a statewide Caltrans contest open to young people. A precocious Huntington Beach child was declared the winner, after that child’s name was drawn from a hat filled with the names of 27 children to submit “Safety Sam” into the contest.
So get used to “Safety Sam,” everyone! He’s going to be clogging up all your socials soon, and there is even a six-foot tall animatronic version of him that they’re going to wheel out to special events to terrify babies with.