Monthly Archives: May 2006

The Summer Of My Shit Content

I don’t mind working holiday weekends. It gives me the perfect excuse not to go to all those stupid parties I’m invited to (note: if you’re reading this and invited me to a party, I’m not talking about you. I’m sad to miss yours. Now, back to the truth, I mean, story). But, for reasons I’m not smart enough to understand, they’re usually not calm, polite weekends.
It started when I got on the bus and this guy starts talking to me. He was talking to the bus driver but he got busy and I guess the guy’s speech dam wasn’t empty yet.

Damn my luck.

So he asks me where I grew up. Reluctantly, I answered Dorchester (it could have been Palm Beach and I would have been reluctant because I didn’t want to talk to this waste of booger). He said his uncle’s family lived in Uphams Corner.

Nice, nice, nice. Now please, I’m thinking, don’t ask me the usual stupid question which is, “Do you know. . .”

It may not sound like a stupid question but it is. It’s always some name like Mike McCarthy. And, although there’s a slim possibility I know a Mike McCarthy, there’s an even slimmer chance it’s the same fool because Dorchester is the largest section of Boston proper and, although you may not believe this, trust me, it’s true, every stinking corner in that rat hole has a Mike McCarthy!

But no. This guy surprised me. He asked me if I knew this place I’d never heard of in my life. So, I told him just that.

“Oh, that’s the lake in New Hampshire my uncle used to take us to.”

Brrrrrrrrrrrbbbbbbbb. WHAT? Did he think this was some secret Dorchester vacation spot? Like we’d leave our year-round shit holes, meet in Fields Corner and take the Edaville Railroad to our opulent, yet secret, summer spot?

Please. We’d unscrew fire hydrants and see how close we could get our faces to the stream before getting knocked out for a month. The emergency room, that was our vacation location.

And people question my thought process.

Remember, that’s just the appetizer. In ten minutes, I REALLY have to start my day. I’m hoping this encounter means I’m pre-disastered for the day. I don’t hold much faith, but you can’t blame a man for hoping. Scoff, ridicule, and belittle? Hell yeah! But blame, sorry, I think that’s just cruel.

I get into the building and being doing a check. It’s something I do every day but I really pay attention during the weekend. I usually spend my first half hour or so cleaning up broken bottles, empty bottles, nip bottles, and much, much worse. Trust me, you don’t want to know what categorizes much, much, worse.

What? You do? Okay, you can’t say I don’t do requests.

I’m checking the front of the building where the loading doors live. It’s usually a spot where I’ll find nips, paper bagged beer cans and, a couple of times a month, someone sleeping. But this time there was something less simply removed that made me (yes, me) wonder about the future of the planet.

Someone, who was obviously in some sort of discomfort if the generous spray they left behind was any indication, shat on and around the loading area. Door five specifically.

And don’t try your useless reason here. It was not animal shit. I know that for a fact because, unlike some people who have a poster of animal tracks on their wall, I have one of animal shit.

And this wasn’t on it.

Finally, my day graciously ends. The rest of the day was filled with confused, clueless, smelly people. It was like being back in school but with less disposable income.

I’m walking up the hill to get home and notice a woman backing out of her driveway. I’ve seen her back out of her driveway on many occasions and it’s been uneventful.

This time, however, one of the crazy houses on the street is doing something else to their community driveway so has parked their car directly in front of this woman’s driveway.

As I’m watching this woman back her car while coming closer to this other woman’s car all I can think is, ‘Boy, she sure had other options as to where to park instead of directly in front of this woman’s driveway where she’s definitely going to. . .”

bip

“. . .hit her.”

And bip is as hard as she came into contact with this car. Have you ever been in a car and a breeze rolled over it? That had better potential to cause damage.

But that’s not the reaction of the woman who’s car was bipped. She comes racing up the hill, not a very attractive nor rapid event, screaming.

I calmly wait for the woman to put her car in drive to being to pull away. The moment I see an opening big enough to slip my legs through I’m up and out.

The woman driving begins her descent, the woman running is taking a short break. Not that it stops her from screaming at the woman who hit her car but none of this means anything to me as I continue on my trek home.

“Hey! You’re a witness! You saw her hit my car.”

I continue my forward motion and, without looking back, scream,

“I didn’t see shit.”

As I picked up my pace and found myself quickly home.

The first thing I did was check that poster.

I was right.

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Why, Yes, I Am

It is funny because, as you know, many of the things I write about (even if I use them in a fictional mode) come from life. The other day someone was badgering me about religion. At first I was okay about it. And by okay I mean silently polite. People don’t seem to understand that truly is the best option.The guy wanted a religion from me. Personally, I don’t think it’s a big deal what religion you are as long as you leave me alone about it. I’m not saying I won’t listen to you but don’t ask me my opinion (you probably won’t like it) and don’t try to recruit me. I had one guy start a church and tell me he really wanted me to join. I told him I would if I got the kool-aid concession.

But, I gave in because it was going to be the only way to quiet this guy. So I told him I was religious and I worshiped the lord gawd Sack. The guy looked at me questioningly and I said,

“Yeah, I’m sacrilegious.”

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It’s The Confluence

I swear I don’t plan this stuff. It’s just that factors beyond my control (i.e. people talking to me and me responding) get involved and all hell breaks loose. Such a confluence occurred last night. It began simply enough. A friend asked if I’d help him get a new refrigerator. They think this is a good idea for a few reasons:

1. I’m stupid but can lift heavy things.
2. I can lift heavy things and being stupid rarely gets in the way.
3. I have access to hand trucks.

I think it’s a good idea for exactly one reason:

1. If I do this they legally can’t ask me to do anything else like this for sixteen months (it used to be twelve but increased with my last birthday).

I will say I’m not thrilled about this endeavor. It’s not that he’s not a nice guy, he is. It’s not that it’ll take a long time, it won’t. It’s not that he doesn’t drink so won’t be buying me beer, oh no, wait, it is that reason. Okay good, now that we have that out of the way we can move on with the story.

We get to the store and I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that he has not, as of yet, picked out the refrigerator. Oh, this is almost as bad as no beer. Now I not only have to be sober but I know he’s going to ask me my opinion. Now why would he do that? One of his reasons for having me here is I’m stupid. I know stupid people and I don’t ask them how to blink. I think that’s why we call them stupid.

Another reason he’s being stupid is because of my physically apparent lack of interest. At first I wandered around the nuts and bolts section but, when that became too exciting for me, I found a mini-fridge and sat on it. I could tell the salesman wanted to say something but I think there was something in my eye that told him he’d better concentrate on his sale before I folded him up like a meat cube and stuffed him in the mini-fridge.

After a mind numbingly boring amount of time of listening to basically the same conversation, “This one’s $500 and will keep this much food cold. This one’s $700 and will keep this much food cold.” The guy asks me what I think.

What I think is he’d better hurry up because I have an empty refrigerator in my basement that, with proper filleting, he’ll fit in quite nicely.

I stand up and walk toward them. I survey the array of refrigerators. And couldn’t give less of a shit if picking the right item would lead me to winning a cavalcade of prizes that would put me in another tax bracket and be the envy off all.

“Well, from listening on my perch over there, I’d say the decision comes down to how much food you have and how much you want to spend.”

Yeah, I’m a sales professional so I know how to get right to the crux of the matter.

“Well,” the salesman says attempting to wrestle control of his commission back. “There are many other factors to consider.” He opens this enormous, stainless steel refrigerator and starts to point out it’s obvious benefits. “This one is $1,400 and will keep this much food cold. BUT, it also has a temperature controlled drawer for meats.”

Oooooo. Be still my lower intestine! The salesman is leaning over to show us the actual drawer that states what he’s just told us. My friend leans over for a closer inspection. He looks back at me like a meat shrouded convert.

“That’s very nice.” I say as they stand in unison. “But, we’re vegans and are appalled that you would use such a despicable tactic as a sales pitch.”

The salesman is deer in headlights stunned. My friend is wondering just what the hell I’m doing. Either way, they’re playing right into my hands because neither of them knows what do to.

“Well, you can use it for other items. Like, like, vegetables.”

“Oh,” I say with utter disdain. “And you think that will make it better? You think knowing your company is profiting, no, encouraging the slaughter of defenseless animals and then bragging about it in your sales pitch is a good sales tactic? Don’t you think that every time he reached into this refrigerator he’d be repulsed to come face to face with the word meat stamped right there?”

The salesman hasn’t breathed. His eyes are flipping through the sales manual of his mind.

“I could see if we could swap out the drawer for one that says crisper.”

“Oh, that’s your solution to wholesale slaughter? For your corporate policy of jamming meat down people’s throats and ruining their health?” I pause for a moment and notice a few people are leaning in behind him. People love to witness situations like this. Unless they’re the salesman.

I stand there staring at this guy. He could be a good guy, I don’t know. I’m sure someone, if not loves him, then sort of likes him on payday. I also know it’s not his fault. It’s the confluence I’m telling ya! I can tell the guy’s trying to come up with something. It’s not that I begin to feel sorry for him (we know that’s just silly) but I can tell he’s worn out. It’s no fun beating something that been wrung out.

I reach out my hand and pat him on the shoulder. It’s moist. “I’m just fucking with ya.” I point back at my dizzy friend. “Wrap it up, porkboy will take it.”

It takes a second for it to sink in to the salesman. For a moment, he doesn’t know how to respond. But then I see something in his eyes. I know that look.

“Cha-ching! Wrap up another sale, Earl! Pappy’s bartender’s gonna love him tonight!”

We leave the store and my friend is attempting to give me shit. He’s not upset at with conversation with the salesman, he enjoyed that once he figured out what a vegan was. It’s more personal.

“I only wanted to spend $800.”

Ah, if he only knew the other six hundred was my way of guaranteeing he won’t call me for quite some time.

With the madness of confluence comes peace.

I was ruminating this situation while dealing with the first heavily medicated customer of my day. They’re babbling about something as I arrive at the conclusion of our transaction. They look up at the large, analog clock hanging a few feet about my head and ask,

“Is that the right time?”

I tear off their receipt, scratch my illegible initials on it, slide it towards them and say,

“I think it’s off by a day or two.”

I put our payment book under the counter while watching that sentence crash into their brain. Incongruity and confusion melt into their face. It takes them too long to process. I can see the hold up. It’s probably as chaotic as Lucy and Ethel working the chocolate bon-bon conveyer. They finally look up at me with nary a glimmer of understanding in their eyes but a desire of appearing somewhat with it in a hip, happening way.

“Ohhhhhh,” they say with no conviction. “I get it.”

“Twice a day by doctor’s prescription, I’d say.”