Alright, so I wanted to tell some stories about my work, since I told Nate’s story, but first I have to share with you the most kick ass two and a half minutes of animation ever. Well, not the most kick ass, there was this one web based show about this death metal band, but I can’t find it again. I’ll try and get y’all a link next post. Anyway, I was watching Sponge Bob square pants while I was surfing the net the other day and that little plankton guy had everyone in mind control helmets and they were going to kick Sponge Bob’s ass when he busted out with this incredibly gnarly shit.
Was that not cool? I mean Sponge Bob turned into a wizard and played a remix of Twisted Sister while flying and shooting lasers out of his fucking guitar. Twisted Sister on children television! A flying, psychedelic, laser shooting, solo thrashing rock wizard! God that was cool. What a goofy goober. Anyway, everyone may now turn their attention back to me and how much I rock.
I’m just going to focus on one of my coworkers for this blog. They are all pretty kick ass, and they all have cool stories, but Kenny and I get along the best and start the most shit. I should note that this is not the same Kenny that I am long time friends with, that’s Kato, aka Kenny P. The fella I’m talking about is Kenny B. and he’s a total redneck. I mean a full fledged, honky tonk, fishin, rebel flag havin, deep south, country ass red neck . The guy is racist as hell, but he’s married to a Puerto Rican. Fucked up right. You have no idea.
He used to work in the rodeo. No joke, the PBR rodeo circuit. He would help set up all the rodeo shit, and handle the bulls and all that good stuff. He originally was training to be a bull rider, but one of his friends was severely injured by a bull, and he decided maybe that wasn’t the career for him. So he stayed until he had banged his fill of buckle bunnies and came back to North Carolina and became a police officer.
Now I don’t mean the good natured, protect and serve, Andy Griffith kind of police officer. I mean a small town, lazy as hell, mostly in it to mess with people and carry a gun sort of pig. He didn’t really do any police work, he just enjoyed car chases and screwing around late at night in a car he didn’t have to pay for. Apparently with two metal lunch plates, an e-brake, and an empty parking lot, you can easily add the nifty effect of sparking metal to your car as you peel out and do donuts. They had this stretch of highway that ran through his town, and a road running perpendicular to it. If you floored it down the entire straight segment of the side road, you could hit the bump in the highway fast enough to catch air in their police cruisers. So he and his buddy cops would post one guy half a mile down the highway on one side, and another half a mile the other way, and they would all switch over to a non regulation frequency and keep a lookout for cars coming in either direction. Then the cop on the side road would floor it and jump the highway and they would all laugh and go get some donuts and find Mexicans to mess with.
Now Mexicans are the funniest because a lot of them know some English, but pretend not to when it’s to their advantage. For instance they would pull a truck full of them for speeding or no inspection or whatever, line them up on the side of the highway, and begin questioning them. This one time, Kenny and his buddy found some dope in the vehicle. So he asked them who the weed belonged to. “Ahhh, no speaky English” they would all say. So he turned to his friend, unstrapped his gun, and in English said, “I don’t really care which of these bastards had the dope, I’m gonna shoot the one with the white shoes.” Then he turned real fast and yelled, and every single one looked down to see what color their shoes were.
He ended up having some real problems with this one hag on the city counsel. Apparently she didn’t want him speeding through the down town district. And the day after she called him out on it, he chased a speeder through the 35 mph zone doing sixty or so. I mean, you have to drive faster than the person you are chasing to catch them, you know? Well things escalated between him and the administration until finally he quit. (or got fired and just tells everyone he quit, I can really see it going both ways)
He has also worked for most of his life since age eighteen doing night and weekend work for honky tonk bars and strip clubs. He’s not a huge guy, I mean he’s several inches taller than me, and probably fifty pounds heavier, but he’s not gigantic. He is however volatile and violent, and he doesn’t give a flying fuck about offending anyone and everyone, so I guess he’s a natural at dragging folks out of bars and whooping their ass. I remember I almost started a fight with him when I was just a green newbie at our current job. I had been there for just a few days, and we watching Jerry Springer, and some dumb ass red neck was pissed because his stripper girlfriend, Candy, was sleeping around. I spouted off with, “well that’s what you get for dating a stripper named Candy you idiot!” Turns out his ex wife is a stripper named Candy. What are the odds right? Talk about awkward. I really should have learned not to say that sort of judgmental crap by now, but if I had I wouldn’t be me.
So anyway, whenever me and Kenny get together and have free time at work, something crazy is about to go down. In fact we aren’t supposed to work together at all, our boss has forbidden it, but neither one of us really cares, so we do it almost every day. Two days ago we had one of those slow days. One of our two salesmen has been out for a month due to surgery, and the other one is newer than I am, so we are completely caught up and stocked with ready to sell/rent trailers on the ready line. In fact, my boss has never had this many ready to go at one time before.
Well we had finished everything we could do without supplies or a fresh trailer, and I’m the sort of guy who can’t just stand around with his thumb up his ass. I have to keep moving, doing something productive. So we’re standing around, and I walk over and grab a mapp gas torch and a spare VCT tile. I’ve had this idea to try and half way melt one and shape in into a human face, and let it cool off, and it would sit around the break room looking really cool/creepy and displaying my incredible prowess with the torch. Kenny of course asks me what the heck I am doing, and I tell him and he looks at me like I’m a retard. Then he gets that grin over his face that lets me know we’re about to have some serious fun.
Usually this involves destroying something with power tools, however today his mind was running more along the lines of fire. So we hike around to the back of the lot where our piles of scrap metal are stored until we can take them around the block to TT&E recycling and turn them in for a big ass bonus to split with the crew. We’ve accumulate some serious piles of copper wire over the six months or so that it takes to build up enough scrap to warrant a trip to the scrap yard. Now since most of you probably aren’t familiar with scrapping metal for side cash, let me illuminate you. Dig this.
Copper is wicked expensive. Like incredibly expensive. Even copper wires with the plastic still on them will get you a buck and some change per pound. We may have a hundred and fifty pounds or more of wire by the time we turn it in. But if you can get clean copper, as in no plastic sheath, you’ll be making an extra dollar or more per pound. Almost double the cash. Sweet right? But stripping wire takes forever and isn’t cost effective. How might plastic be removed from metal in a quick, efficient and incredibly fun way? By burning that shit, that’s how!
So we don’t have a metal barrel anywhere, which is a set back for our little project, but no serious obstacle. We toyed around with building something from the spare siding, or possibly parts from an old filing cabinet, but all of that would involve effort, and we wanted to get right to the cool part with the fire and the burning and possibly an assortment of accelerants. So we start wandering around grabbing metal objects that could withstand high temperatures. We drag it all back to the middle of the yard, because it’s gravel and dirt there. Safety first you know, we don’t want to start a brush fire or anything. After a few moments fooling around we come up with the combinations of three old wheel rims and a security grate we pulled off of a window. Then we hacked apart a palate to get some wood to burn. Now we’ve got a fire proof container with a grate to keep in flying debris, fuel, and plenty of wire to burn.
Before any of you start chastising me, or clucking your tongues in reproach for our dangerous activities, I would like to point out that not only were we about ten feet from a huge freight box with ten or so spare fire extinguishers, but I even walked all the way across the yard and dragged the hose next to out new fire pit. We had safety written all over us. You may have had to squint to see it, but it was there.
As you can imaging, we made a pile of wood, and commenced to trying to light the bugger. The only problem was that we were experiencing some rather strong winds as a result of an incoming cold front. So we couldn’t really get the fire going well. So I grabbed some spray paint and soaked the wood. We have a very small, well contained fire starting up at this point and across the yard fate foils our plans once again.
My boss Drew was moving something with Al, our yankee coworker, and Al smelled something. “Do you smell wood burning? What is that?” Of course the first thing Drew says is, “Dammit! Where the hell are Josh and Kenny?” (side note, we knew the fire extinguishers work because we had thoroughly tested one or two of them the previous day back on the end of our lot. Trust me, not only do they spray very well, but it is a noxious, throat burning spray that coincidentally looks a lot like thick smoke when it starts rolling over the roof and becomes visible from the rest of the yard)
So drew comes running around the trailer and jumps right on us. “What the fuck are you two doing GD it!”
us: “We’re putting money in your pocket man. You’re welcome by the way.”
Drew: “Really? Because it looks an awful lot like you are starting a fire in the middle of my yard.”
us: “I would hardly call this the middle. And we’ve got a hose and shit, what do you want? Don’t you like money?”
Drew: “How the hell does burning down our place of employment make me any money?”
us: “Uh, we were trying to start a decent fire before you interrupted us. We’re gonna convert all of our copper wire to clean copper, that’s a lot of extra money for you and everyone else here. We’re trying to help. Do you just want us standing around?”
Drew: “So by ‘convert’ you mean burn, and by ‘help’ you also mean burn.”
us: “Pretty much. It’s contained see?”
Drew: “Yes I fucking see you bastards. You are ripping shit off of our trailers to start fires!”
us: “Well just the one grate, and it was rusty anyway. What, you don’t think burning is a good way to clean the copper? We’re almost positive this will probably work. And we’ve got the hose see? Safe! We can get safety glasses if you want.”
Drew: “Why the fuck would I want you to get safety glasses? How’s that going to put out these trailers when you ignite them. Put that shit out right the fuck now and I’ll think, THINK about how to safely do this, maybe like on a day when there aren’t GALE FORCE WINDS! And what the fuck are you two doing working together in the first place. Damn, I leave you for five minutes and you’ve got a GD blaze started up and shit all ripped apart. Give me the torch Kenny. From now on you guys have to ask me before you are allowed to use fire.”
Kenny: “What about lighters?”
Drew: “Only for cigarettes, no fires!”
Me: “Kenny, I have one of those torches at home.”
Drew: “That’s right, and that’s exactly where it’s going to stay. Don’t let me catch you starting any more fires!”
us: “What about when it’s not windy?”
Drew: “Maybe. You need to soak them in kerosene and then the plastic melts right off.”
us: “So tomorrow maybe?”
Drew: “We’ll see.”
Us: “So it was a pretty good idea right? Besides the wind and all?”
Drew: “No the fuck it wasn’t. Everything about that was stupid. Get back to work, both of you. And on different sides of the yard.”
us: “There’s nothing left to do without supplies.”
Drew: “Well I don’t fucking care, go turn over some gravels or something!” (yes, gravels, like the completely made up plural form of gravel. Drew makes up words when he’s pissed)
We’re still trying to sneak another fire past him, but that old bastard is vigilant as hell.
This weekend Kenny’s going to take me out to the club he and Drew work at as bouncers. Expect an AWESOME story from this weekend. Trust me, especially if we can convince Drew’s old lady to drag him out with us, there will be a lot of debauchery and mayhem. From all the stories they’ve told me, this place is sort of like that bar from Road House. Stabbings and constant fights and lots of pretty red neck girls. It could be trouble of the finest kind. Don’t worry I won’t cheat on my woman. This is, after all, the same club at which Drew found that one legged girl he banged. Another long story, for another post. Let’s just say he likes big women with limps.