Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the First Annual Dinner of Crossing Guards United.
And now that the dining portion of the evening is over, we come to the moment you have all been waiting for – the announcement of the Crossing Guard of the Year.
It’s my honor to introduce the recipient for 2018.
Michael “The Traffic Stopper” Sisti!

Thank you, thank you.

Forgive me, I’m getting a little choked up. In fact, my wife asked me the other night why I’m getting so emotional these days. I told her I didn’t know, but it must be the medication.
Master of Ceremonies, Peter Minutia; International President of Union of Crossing Guards, Angelo Fachacockta, Honored Dignitaries, Distinguished Guests, My Fellow Crossing Guards.

Before I begin with my prepared remarks, I want to recognize all the volunteers from the Restoration Fellowship cafeteria, who prepared and served this fine dinner. And to Chef Monamoomaw, who flew in from Zimbabwe just to direct the preparation of this wonderful feast, I particularly wanted to recognize him. By the way, did anybody else recognize the chef? I don’t even know what he looks like.

But how about that dinner. I mean the grasshopper salad with chopped fescue – was that something else, or what? Did you like the braised goat ears? And, be honest. How many of you had seconds of the sauerkraut ice cream? I mean, I ate so much I still have agita. Did anyone bring any Prilosec?
Standing here in front of you, I can see it in your eyes. You are all jealous of my accomplishment, and you’re all wondering how I could have possibly won this award instead of you, particularly with the events that have occurred this year. But I promise I won’t gloat for more than 12 months. Unless, of course, I win it again next year.

Looking back on my many achievements, I want to give a special thank you to my dearly departed grandmother for inspiring me to begin my journey into this rewarding career. Back in 1941, she was crossing Delancey Street in New York City, when a drunken pushcart pusher ran her over with his out-of-control pushcart. And after visiting the scene of that awful event as a young boy, and seeing the heavy volume of traffic at that wide intersection, I reached a sobering conclusion. This tragic accident did not have to happen. Of course, there were no PWI laws back then – Pushing While Intoxicated. But this horrible waste of human life would have easily been prevented if there was a crossing guard present. Somebody like you or me. And so, upon receiving my high school Equivalency Certificate, I immediately enrolled in the Crossing Guard Safety Academy. And there I graduated in the top 84 percent of my class.

For the next six months, armed with my framed Certificate of Accomplishment, I applied for a crossing guard position in every town, village, and city in this state. And then I got my big break, my opportunity to protect the young, the aged, the vulnerable pedestrians, the chance to show the deft handling of my portable stop sign, to wear my shiny new uniform. My first assignment was guarding a quiet cul de sac during school hours, in a partially developed, 55 and over community. While there weren’t many opportunities to utilize my leadership skills, I did demonstrate how to stand at attention, and I got to wave at the mail delivery driver every morning.

But I didn’t stop there. I kept going back to school and getting my continuing education credits. And with them came more challenging assignments.

My next location was a side street off St. Armand’s Circle that featured a luxury day spa. Unfortunately, I only lasted there a few weeks, as I kept getting bitten by the service dogs of these snobby women who spent their days at the spa. What is a service dog anyway? They poop just like the regular dogs, don’t they? After multiple trips to the Urgi-Care Center, I asked for a transfer and got a really desirable assignment in front of a Walmart Superstore. And within a few days, I realized that all those rumors were true. Walmart shoppers really do dress like lunatics and wear the most outrageous clothes. I mean it’s OK to be really obese, but if you are, then you don’t wear spandex, and I mean skimpy spandex with fat hanging out of every opening. Do you have any idea how distracting that is to a crossing guard? Well, of course, you do. You’re all crossing guards. Well, when the inspector general came to my watch with his little clipboard and observed my handling of this challenging assignment, he recommended me to take over the intersection in front of a busy grammar school. Now, this was the ultimate assignment, the pinnacle that every crossing guard dreams about and aspires to.

Prior to my first day, I had my uniform cleaned. It was getting a little smelly. And for the next three months, I performed flawlessly, and by the book. But then that incident occurred. You all read about it in the papers a couple of weeks ago. That rotten little brat, excuse me, that child who should have been housed in a detention center instead of a public school, did the unimaginable. Disobeying my specific instructions, he gave me the finger and ran out into the intersection. Despite the horrific and fatal 12-car pileup, he remained uninjured. In fact, he stood there in the middle of the wreckage and gave me the finger again. This event nearly destroyed my career. I was put on paid administrative leave until the inquest was held. Fortunately, contrary to the testimony of this incorrigible child, the video from the street camera clearly showed that the unruly little monster was at fault. And so, I was exonerated and allowed to return to the mean streets of Sarasota.

But tonight, tonight I am proud to announce my newest assignment. Starting Monday, I will be stationed at Mile Marker 148 on Route 29 outside of Immokalee. It is reputed to be the busiest deer crossing in the entire state.

Oh, I need another Prilosec.