Friday, May 11, 2007


My new job is going really well, readers. This is a relief after my year of unemployed discontent.
There is a large cast of characters up here, mostly men. I'm certainly not complaining.

Is it an office filled with smug, know-it-all attorneys wearing golf shirts and Dockers? No! It's a warehouse filled with men who have rough hands, muddy boots, windburned faces and trucker caps. They drink, they cuss, they smoke. They know how to use tools. They can snake a toilet or fix a car. They can stop leaks, divert a creek, replace a fire hydrant, blow up boulders. Most of all, they are very sweet and solicitous, opening doors for ladies and fixing coffee for the crew in the morning.

These guys, particularly those who serve in tandem on The Hamlet's fire department, have seen it all-- wasp nests under park benches, public toilets clogged by vandals throwing rocks in the toilet bowl, dead bodies, floods, fires, holes in the street, downed telephone wires and poles and trees, car wrecks, enormous rock slides, drunks passed out in the park, and bears ambling around the neighborhood going through trash cans.

These guys know all the gossip, too-- like the former city hall janitor who used to show up drunk on the job and currently sits on our city council. They can give you the scoop on who wants to, has, or is still screwing who, who is getting a divorce or a separation, who is filing for bankruptcy, who has a dime less than God, who manufactures meth in their garage, who's been arrested for DUI, possession or domestic abuse.

Because of this love of gossip, the boss has police radios turned on throughout the day for information's sake, but also for entertainment value. The guys love this stuff-- the car chases, the accidents, the suspected drunk drivers. Yesterday the PD was led on a high-speed chase through The Hamlet, which led eastward to Next Door. The policeman radioed that the suspect had turned westward to evade the police, and a cheer rose up from the guys congregated in the boss's office: "HE'S COMING BACK!" they crowed. "FUCKING A!"

I'm certain that over the next few months I'll have lots of stories to share. Prepare yourself, readers. These are your public servants.

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