Hundreds of ’69’ and ‘420’ milepost signs have been stolen in Washington
Those who apparently can’t get enough of jokes about the numbers 420 and 69 have taken the next step and stolen mile-marker signs throughout Washington, presumably so they can hang them in their rooms and point and laugh.
“There are 8,245 mile post-markers in this state. Of those 200 have been stolen, taken, removed, and it’s not a mystery why,” joked 710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neill. “Sixty-nine is a reference to a specific sexual position, and 420 is a reference to dope smoking, the reefer, ganja, the devil’s lettuce.”
Dealing with an issue they likely never anticipated, the state Department of Transportation has decided to fight back by removing said mileposts, and even more ridiculously, replacing some of them with the numbers 68.9 or 419.9. Colorado has faced similar issues, reports The Seattle Times.
“Instead of replacing mile marker 69 — which will just get stolen again because all these little derelict youths want to take it — they’re using 68.9. No one’s going to want to steal that,” Danny said. “Who wants a fractional mile-marker? It accomplishes the exact same goal that they would have wanted to have as a mile-marker, without the incentive for theft.”
How did 420 become a totally overused weed reference?
“The best anyone can tell is that it’s a reference to a group of students in Marin County called the “Waldos” who would go gather to smoke pot at 4:20 p.m.,” Danny said. “Somehow it’s become a national phenomenon and reference.”
While transportation officials are totally hip and love a good joke, they couldn’t help but noting that it costs the taxpayers $1,000 each time one gets stolen, and that first responders rely on those mile-posts to locate emergency scenes. The Washington State Patrol stated that stealing one can be punishable by a $1,000 fine or up to 90 days in jail.
“So my hunch is that some smart derelict will come up with a sexual position that will match 68.9, just to be funny,” joked KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney.
“Don’t give them any ideas,” Danny added.