Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Garbage Truck Wheelies

Yeah, I admit it, my choice of work throughout my life has been pretty lousy. I even went to college and that didn't fix me. I guess my ninth grade English teacher was right, I am a screw up. But, I've tried to make the best of a pretty crummy string of jobs by finding myself getting into far out situations and experiences during work. These happened during my garbage collector days.

Me and the Marlboro Man drove a '68 International COE named "Charley 4". It wasn't very safe. We always leaked hydraulic fluid out of our rams that worked the hopper blade. The brakes weren't up to par. It was an inside joke between me and "M&M" that we drove a wookie in heat, due to the strange noise that came from the thing when we slowed to a stop. Couldn't do 50 mph, much less stay in the lanes with old Charley. Despite its limitations, we managed to pull some far out stunts in that truck

The first time I found out the immense torque of a diesel and low gears was on a Saturday morning. We were double bagging it--trying to fit part of Friday's load into Saturday's load, trying to save the old guy we worked for some money. It was a small outfit with three guys, besides ma and pa, running the thing. This explains how everything was so shoddy.

Getting back to the story, we were near the end of our route and overloaded. I drove on Saturdays and M&M threw (rode on back). We were on a steep incline, so I thought that I'd throw it into it's lowest gear. We really never had to use that gear much. I really underestimated the torque that it would put down. M&M got all his cans in and this lady pulls up close behind us. I didn't want to roll back much, so I held the air brake and revved the rattley oil can up to about 2500 RPM's. It was a juice tranny, so no clutch to pop. But, you get your foot on the brake and rev it up, those torque converters multiply your torque considerably.

I let go of the airbrake and up I went. I could see the sky above me, it was beautiful, but frightening. The trip down was a spine crusher, though. After touchdown, I saw through my side view mirror M&M rolling down the street. The lady who was right behind me was backing away with a fixed look of horror in her eyes. I thought that something like this was impossible with a tandem axle rear, but I guess they share a central pivot point. M&M was furious and decked me on the arm when I came out to help him up. I scared the hell out of him and jacked up the platform on the back of the truck. It was something, though. I'll never forget how it felt. I figure that all the weight in the back, plus the torque of a diesel running high revs through low gear, was the right combintation of things to get Charley's fronts off of the ground. It was freakin' amazing. Worth the bruised arm that I got from M&M.

Keep tuned for more of my Garbage Truck follies.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hmmmmn? Ahhhhh!!!

Did you ever hear about the cannibal that passed his brother in the woods?

Think about this one and see if it leads to enlightenment: Why did the cow ricochet?

I once played Black Sabbath's "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" LP on 78 speed; George Burns then appeared before me in my room.

Kayexeck, I really want to know why I didn't die on June the 2nd, 1995? You miserable demon! Ha, I'm just kidding, you're not even real. My friend was pushing it the whole time!

How does one go about telling their spouse that they still believe in Santa?

A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous, got me?---
Don Van Vliet.

Rocket Morton rides off again into the wind....What do you run on, Rocket Morton? Beans...Laser Beans! --
Don Van Vliet.

Apes Ma, you're getting too big for your cage and your feathers are too long, Apes Ma. --
Don Van Vliet.

I got nuttin!

I once disrupted a Christmas dinner with extreme fits of laughter remembering the homonid/ape scene from the film 2001. The strange thing was that a guy from Texas did the exact same thing at the same time at the same dinner that took place in a northern english town.

Brick houses are mighty heavy!

If you see someone who looks exactly like you, how do you know if you're not a doppleganger?

I once got a D in Spanish and a D in English in 8th grade. I don't know what this means.

A public school secret: When I was in summer school in 9th grade our class was subjected to our algebra teacher changing from his bike clothes to his work clothes. He wore purple speedo underwear. I know that I was a bad kid, but I didn't deserve that.

Friends purposely move away without telling me, then call me a year later to tell me that they moved.

I once had a 19 day running streak of finding dimes on the floor in public places.

I have a friend that gives me his credit cards when he goes gambling, but always hides one in his shoe. He still thinks that I don't notice.

Lemmy's warts are host to tiny populations of malevolent gnomes, who smoke corn cob pipes and dance a jig whenever he performs "Killed by Death".


Friday, September 16, 2005

The Work Perv Who Got Served

It doesn't seem to matter where I work, I always get hounded by the resident pervert. They all feel like sharing the grossest details of what's growing in their crotch, what goes in or comes out of a person's ass, the type of sounds that certain body parts make while engaged in various pervert activities, and informing me of assorted vile acts, giving me every sordid detail. Now, it's not that I don't enjoy a little blue humor now and again, it just baffles me that certain types of people make it their calling in life to inform me of the nastiness that seems to pervade in contaminating their lives. I have that kind of face that people would see as innocent and trusting, which means I get a lot of weird personal information divulged to me. Maybe, in a way, these perv's are confessing their sickness to me, thinking that if someone "good" knows about their problems, then somehow they're forgiven.

There's one guy in particular that always tracks me down and has to say something misogynistic or creepy. He enjoys patting/rubbing people on the back when conversing with them. I personally think that he doth protest too much and is really sweet on the guys. His latest thing was an impersonation of a "screamer" which sounded like a strangled elk call. He bragged that he made every girl a screamer, because he's so good at givin' it to them. He further explained that the reason that the impersonation sounded the way it did was that the ladies screamed so much that they lost their voice. If you think what I just wrote sounded silly, just think how labored and pathetic it must've sounded coming from this guy. The only thing that I can assume is that he forms a delusion that we are learning the ways of studhood from him. Instead, he's become our resident perv that we make fun of. Of course this isn't the only pervert that I've had to endure.

Far back in time, working in the fast food industry, I was introduced to a real gem of a wanker. This guy would elaborate on the smell of his wife's nether regions, how he liked to orifice-fish for life savers (think of the worst place, bingo), and what he likes to do with a stick of butter. First off, "Parkay" met his wife while she was working the streets of L.A.--his first date with her was a trick. Parkay was another "massager/masher" when he was around you, always touching. He seemed to enjoy grossing people out. Parkay had this bastardized Eddie Murphy laugh that he'd go into after making us barf. After he'd do something that he thought was cool or amazing he'd exclaim in an airy, feminine tone, "It's magic!" One day, we decided to turn the tables on this guy.

The store manager came up with a great birthday present for Parkay. She was good at baking cakes. Not just any old cakes, though. She could make all sorts of different shaped cakes with elaborate decorations and the whole nine yards. She told us that the cake would be right up Parkay's alley. She wouldn't fully disclose what it was exactly other than it would be super nasty.

Birthday time roles around. We're all waiting with great anticipation to see the unveiling of this notty cake. I imagined that it would be a simple one-layer cake with some nasty design in frosting. I was sort of right, but mostly wrong. Parkay comes in to start his shift; we surround him at the time clock and escort him down to the break room for his surprise. Parks was taken aback by all of the attention he got, even though he already assumed that we'd do something for his birthday. When we got to the break room, we were greeted by the manager, who stood smiling, holding a big pan over the surprise. Parkay started into his Eddie Murphy laugh then said that we shouldn't have gone through all the trouble. Our manager gave a generic birthday speech then lifted the pan off of the cake. Holy moley, that's all I could say!

A collective gasp from the crew sucked all the air out of the room. Old Parks turned thirty shades of red. There on the table laid an anatomically correct female, represented in cake form. From breasts, belly, to below, it was a stark, detailed vision of x-rated confection. I swear I saw a genital wart amongst the jelly-strewn folds 'n' crevices. Parkay was absolutely gob-smacked. The manager, not quite sensing that she'd gone too far, said, "I made sure that I only used real butter for the frosting, especially for you!" At that moment everything came to a head for Parks. He finally got it. This is what we all thought of him. He felt as ugly as the gaping cake hole oozing with cream and jelly. Parkay teared up and ran out of the room telling us that we were the sick ones and that we should all be ashamed of ourselves. He threatened our manager with a sexual harassment lawsuit; it got out of hand. He got a dose of his own medicine and gagged on it. Served him right.

Was what we did inappropriate, disgusting, and wrong? Yes, absolutely! I imagine that most places of employment wouldn't tolerate such a thing. But, we decided to go crazy, and it was hilarious. I gotta figure out something to do for this current pervert that I work with. I know that we're all just a bunch of guys there it seems, and this sort of thing kind of gets a blind eye turned to it. But, I figure that we can get payback without getting legal on his ass. I'm open for suggestions.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Harold & Maude

There is a mother and son that work in the same place that I do. She is sixty and her son is forty. Before finding out the truth, many people have thought that they were married because she looks young for her age and he's gray and balding. They are often seen doting on one another and are rather affectionate toward each other at work. I've had several people tell me that they've seen them holding hands walking together, sitting down, and it's real creepy. I've seen her feed her boy during their lunch break, for crying out loud! I got wondering what other crap goes on between these two. I know that if anyone is remotely critical of her boy she pounces on them like a blood thirsty lioness. I don't intend to be mean by this post, but I think that most people would not find this behavior normal. This guy is not retarded--he graduated from high school. While he does seem to have a few learning disabilities, I feel that the nature of their relationship is not nurturing, rather, subconsciously sexual. Even if I'm way off base with my assumptions, I think that you could agree that their behavior would make people curious. Maybe I'm just too jaded to see the beauty of a close mother/son relationship like this one. However, save that stuff for home.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

MDA Milkshakes

First off, this is not about Methylenedioxyamphetamene (MDA), or it's other form MDMA (ecstasy), neither is this about the Muscular Dystrophy Association. No, were talking about the toxic chemical: Methylenedianiline (MDA). It's what you get when you condense aniline and formaldehyde together to make really awful shit.

I worked for a millwright that did contract work for Hercules. Hercules used to be the big explosives manufacturer then eventually went into the aerospace industry. I think they're run under a different name now. I worked (surprise) as a laborer for this contractor doing mostly demolition. I never got to build stuff. Mainly, we "reconfigured" stuff like blast retention walls at rocket testing/manufacturing sites, and in this particular case, we were gutting out a building that was in one of their massive factories where the rocket engine cylinders were manufactured. The job was seriously dirty.

This room housed the part of the manufacturing process that mixed the MDA, that was then impregnated into the graphite fibers that were woven onto the mandrel--MDA is used in wire coatings, potting/encapsulating of electronics, and in this case, advanced composite materials production. Basically, it binds the graphite together. MDA is a human carcinogen and a heptatoxic agent. In other words, it can give you cancer and cause hepatoxicity, basically a chemical version of hepatitis. Liver damage, anyone? Whether it be by inhalation, ingestion, or dermal absorption, prolonged exposure to this agent will cause mucho problemos. Our job, again, was to tear all that crap out that mixed and impregnated this stuff into the graphite fiber.

On our first day of the contract, we went through our usual OSHA orientation of "things that would kill or seriously damage you"-- if it wasn't your day. There we got our introduction to MDA. We were told that we would be wearing HAZMAT suits, would have to bag and tag every scrap that came out of the structure, and that if our suits tore and MDA got on our clothing, that it was to be bagged and tagged as well. If we got it on our skin, it was "free naked shower time" in the old emergency decontamination area--which didn't have much privacy I might add. I was later told by my boss that if you got a little on you it wasn't too bad--it just stained your skin tobacco-brown for a few months. However, these OSHA guys had me freaked out.

We were led through the main humongoid building towards the building within it that had to be gutted. The environment necessary for this part of the manufacturing process has to be HOT! There was a foot of special insulation on the inside (Fiberglas tile) as well as conventional Fiberglas insulation laid out on the top of the building. It was hotter than a bitch kitty in there. We estimated that it was between 115 to 130 degrees fahrenheit and we had to wear friggin' HAZMAT gear, too. This place housed a machine called a "flying wedge" which did the job of impregnation (always the best job, I say). It had lines and pipes going every which way; damn, it was a hard, dirty job. The thing that got me wondering was, why they were having us tear all this out for? After clearing out the flying wedge room, I found out why. On to the mixing room.

These motherfugwankers had their employees mix the components for the MDA in big paper cups using a damn shake mixer--you know, the type at your local choke and puke drive in. Think of how much ice cream gets thrown around on these "Dairy Queer" workers, then, think about think about what these workers who mixed the MDA would have had on them. They used to only wear a dust mask, gloves, and an apron. It turns out that there were several cases of cancer and liver damage cropping up with workers and they had to figure out a safer mixing process. No shit...shake fereakin' mixers--now there's a good idea!

When I started tearing the insulation off of the roof, I noticed a lot of pigeon shit on the side butting the bigger building. The main building had those checkered widows and a few of them were broken. This is where the pigeons got in. When I finally got over to that side, I found about six freshly dead pigeons with MDA stained beaks and many more in various states of decay. I bagged and tagged those unlucky bastards, very gross.

I started to notice that my boss was not bagging and tagging the plywood and started to secretly load it on a flatbed trailer. Later, we missed a few items, and he wanted to come out under bid (finish quicker-->get richer). Well, he threw those on the flatbed too. On our way home that day my boss sold the plywood to a guy for a decent return. The guy wanted to build a shed and thought that the brown "stain" on the plywood was nice. Our next stop was at the dump, we had extra material from another job that had to be thrown away. We started to throw all the refuse off the trailer and I found the chewy center that my boss had hidden from the OSHA guys: two five-gallon drums of MDA. I protested that I wouldn't throw it out. He basically shoved me aside and kicked the barrels over, spilling their contents onto the ground.

I was really young at the time and chickened out. I should have reported him, but I didn't. I still feel responsible for not doing anything about it. I hope to God that it didn't harm anybody. I rationalized that since it was in a landfill, it was already in a messed up place. I imagine that crap like this happens all the time and we all end up getting some kind of toxic milkshake sooner or later.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


How can anyone justify owning a big-assed truck? I like them, but I feel bad about it. I have a big-assed truck. A 1978 Chevy K20. It has been modestly fixed up: forest green, black spoked rims w/33's, with a charcoal and titanium gray interior. I had a Jacobs' Pro Street ignition a while back until it gave out it's last digital command to fire 80,000 volts right out in the middle of nowhere. It was fun while it lasted. I've done my share of testing the limits of my truck--seeing just how high I can climb up S.O.B., a famed climb that has claimed more than a few lives, as well as taking it other places it didn't fit or shouldn't go. Mainly, I built it up the way I use it: for utility and for rugged adventure and it's been paid off for eons. Most SUV's & trucks now are merely shiney, overpriced phallic symbols.

Why say "merely" when modern trucks are in every way superior to an old beater? First of all, it's not the truck, but what the owner's use their trucks for. Trucks and SUV's have become status symbols--enough said. The people who could use such fine machines are priced out (kind of like Mc Mansions on wheels). What on earth do you need a truck or SUV for if all you do is cruise to the Maverick for Dews or whatever, groceries, and general transport? Unless you regularly tow a big trailer, you don't need a Duramax, Powerstroke, or Cummings with a Banks' Six-Pack and propane injection to get laid, go to Albertson's, or play (sub)urban hillbilly. Try an older truck, or a smaller truck out if you need something for the occasional move or trip to the dump. If you also go up into the hills and beat up on it you aren't destroying a $30,000-$75,000 investment. Think of how bad you'd feel if you really messed up a brand new truck after making a commitment to pay off that huge auto loan, high insurance, taxes, and most of all, gas costs.

Aesthetics are key: Don't trailer queen (pimp) your truck for crying out loud; this only ruins it. Would you cut the balls off of a prized rodeo bull, cut off it's legs, or put it on stilts? Then why put monster wheels and meats (tires) on your rig? I'm not even going into the whole lowrider issue.

Unless you really go deep mudding (the chance of never seeing your truck again)don't put 38's or 44's on. You are only making your rig perform horribly on the street that way. If that's the only place that you use it, don't jack it up so the only friends that can help you load stuff into it are sherpas. Raising the level of your bed only makes your truck worse for doing real world labor.
Bigger tires=more rotating mass and decreased (taller/higher gear) final drive ratio. What this means is you get less torque and horsepower to the ground. Big rims and tires are super heavy static, but once you get them rolling, they become heavier and don't want to stop (don't make me bust out a physics lesson on yo ass). Your stock brakes can't do the job of stopping in time. Big tires will decrease your gas mileage as well as give you less traction for street conditions. Mud tires lack siping--those little grooves and cuts in tires that grip wet/icy asphalt.

Do you think it's cool to slide off the road or slam into the vehicle in front of you because you wanted to appear rugged? Mud tires are excellent in deep snow and off road, but that's only what they're good for dammit! How often do you drive in those conditions? No one will think that you have a diminished capacity in the sack, or otherwise, because your truck isn't eight feet off the ground for no good reason. You only look like a fool who doesn't consider their own safety, as well as other's, by driving a steroid-pumped, circus wagon around town. Do yourself a solid; give that jalopy to someone who wants to go wheelin' for real, and not just pose or feign badassness.

If I had a chance, I'd buy the world a Coke. But, I can't afford to do that right yet. So, for now, I can lay this out for you: If you want to be tough, look better than others, or in general get from point A to point B, buy a normal vehicle that doesn't strain your pocket book, the planet, and decapitate people in accidents. Use steroids if you just gotsta be an enormous prick that people won't be able to take their eyes off of. If you want to assert your status in life, buy a Mercedes or a BMW like the yuppies of old. People think that a fully customized SUV or truck will save them from appearing pretentious, while still waving their cash wad in front of the neighbors. Hey, a truck does not trick people into thinking you are all "down homey" and common. A snob in a pickup is still a snob.. If that's who you are, then be that asshole that everyone hates, because we already hate you anyway. So, why deprive yourself of having a real status symbol and not a "Red Herring Mobile".The Snob with the blinged-out rig: "Honestly, I use it to pull my boat, 'The Shaft of Atlas' and stuff, not to trample lowly serfs under foot." If you need to pull a boat with a truck, then do it without all the parade float crap, capice?

What makes a truck truly beautiful is understatement. K.I.S.S., if you know what I mean. Wear your dents, scratches, and rust with pride: It means you've used your truck. That's what they're for. Wouldn't you think that putting sparkles, or other flare (Badboy and Calvin pissing stickers), on some 501's to be gay? Think about that next time some dude pulls up in a jacked-up, gawdy, Christmas tree ornament--"Where ya going, Liberace?" Enough said!