Alright, another exciting day, another exciting post.
I’ve had a lot on my plate today. I went to the recycling center! Isn’t that exciting?! I’ve earned $4.30...in one day! Just for driving a couple blocks. Well, that, and I had to look at ugly empty Diet Pepsi cans for the last three weeks
With all the Diet Pepsi we go through around this apartment, you would think we’d get rich recycling, right? Wrong. I used to think that way and then I realized that we spend far more money on the actual Diet Pepsi than we get back with the cans. It’s just not fair. Promises were made, damnit!
Anyway, as I was lugging the two bags of cans out of my back seat, I overheard these guys who worked there arguing about when they should take their lunch. Lunch? The place smells like a vomitorium (The Roman kind, not the theatre kind). How could they think about lunch? It’s amazing what people can get used to. Have you ever been near a slaughterhouse? I’ll bet those people eat lunch too. I wonder if they eat meat for lunch and then quip about their bologna sandwich saying things like “remember when this looked like a cow?” And then another worker would say, “Doug,” (that’s the one worker’s name) “Doug, the part of the animal that this came from never looked like a cow.” And then they’d all laugh and put more ketchup on it? Something to think about, I guess.
In the 5th, 6th, and 7th grade I lived in a small town, population: one thousand, called Odessa Washington. And during that time I had a girlfriend (off and on, it was a rocky romance, damn you Duane Polinski!) her name was Jody Kay Kolterman. Jody’s parents managed the trailer park on one side of town (it was a pretty nice trailer park at the time so keep your jokes to yourself). I would spend a lot of time with her even though I lived all the way on the other side of town. I was willing to make the hard ride to see her every day (five minutes on my bike). Now, her parents sole source of income wasn’t the trailer park, they had another job. One day Jody asked me if I wanted to eat lunch with her and her parents at their work. If you had known me then (I weighed the same as I do now, I think), you would know that I would never turn down free pizza, so I went.
Now, Jody’s parents were good people…I think…I mean I was 10 at the time, they seemed good to me. They wore hats with their nicknames on them and people called them by those nicknames. I don’t think that I ever learned their real names and I can’t remember what their nicknames were but they were something like “Creepy” and “Scraggy.” Those aren’t them, but that’s real close (please keep in mind that it was a nice trailer park).
I met up with Jody Kay at her double-wide and we headed out towards the railroad tracks to where her parents worked. In Odessa everyone worked near the railroad tracks. So, we get there and drop our bikes at the door. Just inside the sliding steel door I can see her parents with two boxes of pizza. So, me being the little butterball that I was, rush in to eat (when I was a kid the only place I rushed to was a meal, you would think that I would have dropped a few pounds, or at least been a little embarrassed by my actions, especially when I did it in high school…I’m not kidding).
That’s when it hit me. The smell. They worked in an ammonia plant!
I’m not kidding. It was awful. If you want an idea of what it was like, go to your cabinet, open up the ammonia, and stick your nose in it. Now try to eat a stick of pepperoni. It was the first time in my life that I was starving, and yet at the same time, not hungry. I tried to be gracious. I didn’t want “Itchy” and “Scratchy” to think that I was ungrateful. So, somehow, I just kept gnawing on the same slice for the next half-hour while my head felt like it was literally pushing out my ears. None of the others seemed to be having the same problem that I was. I think they finished off both pies. Man.
And that was the day that I discovered what the 60’s were all about.
Fun Fact: I once collected about 300 Snapple Lemon Iced Tea bottles. They took up most of my bedroom closet and apartment storage area. I was going to make a castle out of them, but I threw them away instead.
Somewhere, in LA, a transient is weeping.