23 Nov



Have you ever wondered why it is that people in wheel chairs at amusement parks are pushed to the front of the line? Not only is there a height limit for most rides, which a person in a personal perambulator could never aspire to, but what are they seriously going to do? Load the whole wheel chair and the individual into the rollercoaster and watch the paraplegic as he whizzes through the loop-the-loop and crashes through the water slide! Has anybody considered the consequences of a wheel chair letting loose at sixty miles an hour hurtling through the air towards a candy flossed and soda-filled public? I mean what if the roller coaster should sink whilst going through the water slide, what then? Who is going to rescue grandma strapped into her state of the art mobility scooter? I though not; public safety dispensed with in a potentially tragic imposition of political correctness.

It is this kind of thing which fills our conversation every morning when we arrive at work. Three or four guys sitting around a table trying to find the energy to start on yet another day of managerial interference and broken down tools. The shift is from six in the morning to six in the evening which means that as colleagues we are closeted together for the majority of the working day. One would think that after years of such close companionship there would be nothing left to say, no subject left to discuss that hadn’t already been disected and digested countless times over.

 You couldn’t be further from the truth if you tried! Every day there is a new revelation, a gem, a memory shared. The hilarity which is conjured up between shift ending and shift beginning should be bottled and sold for profit.

Take Dan (no names have been changed as there are no innocents!) who is a cat hater. I know this as he told me several stories from his youth. He would catch cats, cover them in petrol, set them on fire and then let them loose! Then as the cat ran screaming through the darkness, him and his mates would take aim at the burning beasts with their shot guns. According to Dan a good time would be had by all! One can only imagine the hissing fiery fur ball as it screamed for its life through the long grass, lit up like Haley’s comet trying to dodge the incoming rounds!! You can see the twisted humor in it, not from the cat’s point of view of course, but definitely from the Budweiser soaked red-necks locking and loading on the porch.


This morning was no exception and Dan could hardly wait to relate his adventure of the previous evening  after leaving work. Driving home in his red two-tons-of-fun machismo truck, he spotted a cat close to his house. Now I should mention that this particular cat has been using his garden as a public toilet ever since its loving owners abandoned it after running from the bank to escape their foreclosed home. The cat lives in the weeds that now broach the top of the six foot wall partitioning the vacant lot from Dan’s neatly trimmed and groomed garden. Cats, selfish bastards that they are, do  not defecate where they eat, and so the handiness of the clean and pleasant open spaces next door to the empty house was no doubt a cat God-send. Much to Dan’s horror the  pristine and potentially award winning environs of his back yard were slowly filling with cat-poop. Clearly something needed to be done.

So it was out with the anti-freeze and the poisoned bratwurst however to no avail. The wily critter wouldn’t drink the sweet sickly deadly liquid nor would it munch on one of Johnsonville’s finest. There seemed to be no solution in site until last night when Dan drove home. Sitting on the kerb and hissing at an intruding feline, the furry shit-machine sat with his back to the oncoming traffic, unaware of Dan’s less than stealthy approach. Seizing his chance and swerving up the sidewalk, sending wheelie bins flying and young children rushing to the safety of their mothers, he finally had his revenge. The cat didn’t know what  hit him, literally…., as the two tons of made in America Japanese engineering digested the cat from behind; the lack of personal hygene and respect for its neighbor’s yard was squeezed with great gusto out of every orifice and onto the pavement. No longer a nuisance; now just a mess.

Dan did the right thing, trying hard to wipe the smile of his face and even harder to scrape the cat from the concrete; shovelling up what was now akin to cat paper and flinging it into his missing-in-action neighbor’s yard. The only remnants left of the midnight defecant was the dark stain on his neighbors drive way.

But Dan, proud house owner and American-dreamer that he is, was good with that………



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