South Carolina native Chris Cox became an overnight sensation after taking it upon himself to clean up the National Mall amid the "government shutdown," calling himself "the memorial militia."
On Thursday, Cox modestly told Glenn Beck it "made a lot of sense" to pick up the trash "considering it was all over the ground."
Cox said has no complaints about the job, and encourages others to come out and take care of their monuments as well.
“I want to encourage my friends and fellow Americans to go to their parks and show up with a trash bag and a rake,” he is quoted as saying. “Show up with a good attitude and firm handshake for the U.S. Park Service.”
That doesn't mean, though, that there haven't been a few less than pleasant moments in tidying up the nation's capital.
"I'll never look at a trash can the same again..." Cox told Beck with a smile, shaking his head. "Before the rats I had a spit cup of tobacco went down one of my boots. After that I had a - I don't know if it was yogurt or coffee - but it was pretty unpleasant, not to mention a couple stinky diapers that made their way into the trashcans. I was doing the electric slide when a little mouse - it turned out to be a mouse, thought it was a rat - ran up my arm and into my shirt..."
Cox said most of the Park Rangers have greeted him with waves and handshakes, and seem to appreciate his efforts. Yesterday, though, he was firmly asked to leave.
"Everybody -- every bus, every classroom, every office, every neighborhood's got a bully -- and I just came across the wrong guy," Cox explained easily. "He approached me, I held my hand out to shake his hand, and he immediately bode his chest out and he told me he didn't shake hands."
"I found that kind of bizarre, you know, I thought he'd make a better prison guard than a park police officer, myself," Cox said, reiterating that most of the Park Rangers have been kind.
"Their job is to [welcome] people with open arms, and the fact that they're being asked to turn people away -- if you take a look at the memorials you'll find they're not very good at saying no, that's why we have so many people down there," Cox said. "I think they've got more of an off-the-record policy right now of saying, 'Come on down, we like you...but we're being told from above to push you away, but off-the-record we're happy to see you.'"
Beck told Cox he is a "real patriot" and hopes to shake his hand when he's in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
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