The logical suspect is Wile E. Coyote, but there is good reason to believe our favorite cartoon villain is, in this case, totally innocent. We have it on good authority that no Acme safe, dynamite sticks, knives, cannons, or any of the Rube Goldbergish contraptions so favored by Wile were used in this disappearance. Instead we must blame....... the government (cue the conspiracy theorists!).
The roadrunner I am referring to is the Recycled Roadrunner at the rest area at Las Cruces (see this post for more information), a roadside guardian who has, for many years, watched over travelers as they sped through southern New Mexico.
He began life in 1993 as monument to recycling in the Las Cruces Foothills Landfill. He moved to the I-10 rest area in 2001, where he remained until his "disappearance" in 2011. Here is what his previous perch looks like today (click to embiggen):
Just a sad little plate on which he once so proudly stood.
So where is he? Rumor has it that he is living very near by, in the back yard of his creator, Olin Calk. Mr. Calk has been re-junking him -- for an apt visual, think of Dorothy re-stuffing the scarecrow. Apparently his refuse was getting tattered, if that can even be said to be a thing.
But now the big question -- where will this Big Bird go next? The city is considering various options -- back to his I-10 home, to the Las Cruces Dam, somewhere on I-10, or somewhere else, to be determined. He made a brief appearance at Earth Day 2012, and is scheduled to be reintroduced to his junk-appreciating fans sometime this year.
Just so you don't think the refurbishing rubbish is cheap -- his new look is costing $26,500. I think even Wile E. Coyote would be impressed!
More photos of the refurbishment can be seen here. Beep beep!