Have you ever met someone or even just passed someone in the hallway and that was sufficient to know that any further interaction would bind you by duty to mankind to follow that person into an empty men's toilet and shiv him in the buttocks? Yeah, me too.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
My family has a number of historic anecdotes of our time in the western hemisphere. There are also a few vague references to ancestral eastern-hemispheric going ons that involve horse thievery which might explain the decision of our forefather to relocate to the new world. Since that carrier of my surname brought it and himself to the land of providence, we have accumulated a rich oral tradition of misfortunes that have befallen our race. There is the tale of the confederate sniper hunted down and shot with his family as they slept. There is another story about a whole branch of my family tree being murdered and thrown down a Virginian well because the locals didn't take kindly to the ruckus those predecessors caused while building the railroad nearby. However these tales are merely appetisers to the feast of calamity one person of my linage endured. A cousin of some manner of multiple removals and ordinal number was a farm labourer. His daily endeavours featured his proximity to a vat of pig waste. Why there is ever a need or how pig waste is put into vats has never been sufficiently explained to me. This proximity was ultimately the cause of my misfortunate relation’s demise. He died, drowned in an enormous vat of pig manure and urine. Apparently the slurry of pig piss and shit has similar properties to that of quicksand. Haven fallen there would have been no way to extricate himself without assistance. The one difference being sand usually has a more benign odour compared the indescribable stench that pigs create. It truly is a horror upon the senses and once you have had the merest of whiffs in your nostrils, you will forever remember it.
As if this fate wasn’t undignified enough, the gods saw it fit to add yet another heaping helping of contempt for one of their creations. My cousin met his particular god at the end of the day just before a long weekend. The consequence being that his earthly remains remained were his spirit departed it for several days. His corpse marinated in that hellish concoction until someone else made its bewildering discovery.
This submersion resulted in a curing of the victim’s flesh so that instead of a death in pig shit soup, you might have thought that he quietly died in his sleep during a relaxing island holiday. He had the healthy tanned look of a retired banker as he peacefully rested in the coffin and an unknown preacher recited scripture over him. The relatives who had been at the service all agreed that our cousin had the look of a man of leisure dressed in a sharp but hired suit. However they also agreed that throughout the service and even at the grave site, you couldn’t help occasionally catching the scent of pig shit drifting in the wind.
Friday, September 15, 2006
1) Are the dutch tall because they live in a flood plain and all the short ones kept drowning thus depriving the dutch gene pool of their stumpy genes?
2) Is Liverpool a city where the fashion of the 80's and 70's has rerturned or just never left?
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I went to the break room yesterday to read a cup of tea's worth of my book. Our grumpy gentleman was there muttering to his coffee. I asked a cheery "mind if I sit down?" to which was replied a series of unfathomable noises albeit at a more conversational volume signaling this was not part of his unending mumbled soliloquy. I sat down with my book and tea and as if we were on a see-saw he rose with his mug and left the room trailing behind him wisps of grunts and mumbles.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
The manager was off doing whatever he did (among other things, it turned out to be smoking crack in the walk-in freezer but that’s another tale). Before he had left, he told me to expect a workman to come to balance the blades of the restaurant’s ceiling fans which had begun to wobble unsynchronised like drunken dervishes. The workman said it would take an hour which would be plenty of time before the start of the dinner rush.
The workman came. He tottered in on stick thin legs. The grizzle of grey stubble ringed his chin. His eyes wet as if on the verge of tears. He told me he was here to balance the fans and asked if I had a ladder. I retrieved a short step ladder we had, but that was insufficient. He then asked if I could help him bring in the ladder from his truck instead. I dutifully did and set it up for him. He thanked me and I returned to reading my book behind the counter except I didn’t read a page. I watched him move cautiously and laboriously up the ladder from which he seemed at every step about to fall. There was an overwhelming sense of exhaustion to his person. So much so that it seemed to sap my own energies. He was a tired mind and body only continuing its animation from inertia.
He finally reached the top. He examined the twirl of the fans. Clicking the chain, turning it on and off. His tools for this task? A pocket full of pennies and regular clear office tape. He would divine the required weight and tape the stack of
The manager was polite enough and paid the man for the job but told him his services would be unnecessary for the remaining wobbly fans. I helped him pack his ladder. He seemed confused and told me he’d be back tomorrow to finish. As soon as I returned I was asked to mount a table to remove the remaining pennies as a salvo had just broken a wine glass.
I finished my shift but I was stunned. I kept thinking about myself ending up incoherent and frail like him. I had never considered that just maybe my story doesn’t end happily. I just never considered any ending at all, but now was overwhelmed with all the possible horrors that can be visited upon a man. Sickness, want, and misery ceased to be possibilities and became certainties. He didn’t return the next day and it took awhile for me to regain some perspective but a pandora’s box had been opened.