Friday, June 27, 2008


Today was not a tough day at work.

There is a project going on at Eleven Mile and Woodward in which crews are widening the road, or making it less bumpy, and they ran into a problem in which the six-inch gas main is higher than it ought to be and, by digging down to level the road, they exposed it in all its yellow plastic glory.

I was out on that job earlier in the week and we were supposed to dig underneath the gas main so that we could lower it for them. Well, we started to do just that and then we ran into a problem: the gas main is lying about two inches above an MCI fiber optic conduit. **gasp** So, yeah, we wouldn't be able to lower it, seeing as how crashing through a fiber optic conduit, severing cables, would probably cost about five million dollars (give or take a million or two) to repair. So, we stopped a few days ago and left it in the engineers' hands.

Today, instead of relocating it, which would have been nigh impossible--engineering-decision made--we headed back out there to lay some rock shield over the main. Listen: that consists of unrolling about twenty feet of rock shield, a hard plastic membrane that is used to cover the main to protect it from the rocks that the road crews use to level the road, and laying said rock shield over the main. (And hoping that nothing bad happens, like big-assed tractors scraping the main, blowing natural gas sky-high.) The rest of the day, we sat there and watched the road crew get load after load (double-semi-trailer-sized) of rock. Our primary purpose was to be on-site should anything untoward happen.

Nothing did.

In fact, the road crew didn't even get to the area of the exposed main before it was time to head back into the shop. time worked: twenty minutes.

The rest of the day was spent sitting, watching the rock truck traverse back and forth about seven times with loads (the last time, I saw the driver look over at us and shake his head) and eating lunch (I had a foot-long Tuna on Wheat--with all the fixin's--from Subway) and shooting the shit, laughing our asses off at some of the characters we have here in this company.

So, no. Today was not a tough day at work. Some days I--we--bust my--our--ass(es) and some days are relatively easy. Today was a friggin' joke. But! We get paid either way. And handsomely, at that.

I'll chalk this one up as a freebie. =o)

Sunday, June 22, 2008


It's right (---->) there.

It's wonderful how they (don't) kinda share.

Lou had it, first, laying Frog Dog, nibbling at the round of it. Ollie whined. I let him. 'Twas Louie's turn on the Bone Monster. King Lou growled when His Olliness approached.

Eventually, Louie either lost interest or he (as I like to hope) saw fit for his smallah brothah to pondah the bone-ah.

Ollie chewed. (Not quite as earth-shattering as "Jesus wept," but! It'll have to do.)

Ollie chewed.

Louie made a few more perfucntory growls and then--I assume--said "Fuggit." He ambled onto the cushy couch cushions. Down for the count.

Ollie chewed a little longer and said--I, again, assume--"Fuggit. I be done-done."

And so now the bone lies, on the carpet, no canines canining into it.

Please to call up Cesar Milan? Make his ass tell me the fruther from the druther?


Friday, June 20, 2008


So I've been playing with quizzes on and I came across a question that asked what thaasophobia meant. Now, I'm not sure--upon reflection--if this answer is legit, but the multiple choices were: fear of crowds, fear of sitting, fear of loud noises and fear of popcorn.

Can you guess the answer? I'll wait.


Foot-tapping completed, I am back to say that the answer is fear of sitting.

Fear. Of. Sitting.


Who the fuck is afraid to sit down?! My God, if one is phobic, that is all one wants to do. Sit down, lay down, nap, hide, etc.. Anything to get him- or herself away from the object of their phobia. Can you imagine how much it must suck to be afraid to sit down?!

J. Christ, that's all some people do at work!

I'm not mocking. Seriously. I feel the non-sitters' pain. I, too, have phobias. I'm nervous when I'm enclosed in a room, sitting around a bunch of people. I'm scared that I'll have a heart attack. (I think that one is called cardiophobia. If not? I just made up a new medical malady! Whee for me.)

But to be afraid to sit!

Of what are the sufferers a-scairt? That the seat is too luxurious; are they afraid that they'll sink into Suffocation? Are they afraid of splinters from the chair's arms? Are they afraid that their ass will balloon permanently into Infinity? Are they afraid that the "cushions got spores"?

Seriously. I don't understand it.

I think that thaasophobia, if the truth be told, is actually more of a social anxiety-type thing. The sufferers are uncomfortable sitting with people--they feel trapped--and so the mind convolutes and digs a tread in its fissures that leads the afflicted to believe that every time they sit down, bad shit could--will!--happen. Be they alone or be they with guests. But...shit.

All that standin'?! That's gotta be hard on the knees!

Anyway. The mocking is over. I salute all with thaasophobia. I wring tears out of my hard ass--I cry for them. makes me wonder. Is the name thaasophobia somehow a contraction of "that's my ass--I've a phobia"? Or some Italian grandmother wheezing, "Now, that? Now thazza phobia!"

Medical jargon: who can understand it?!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Today, at lunch, I ate--buns included--three hot dogs and two hamburgers. I washed the meat and bread fiber down with a heaping helping of potato salad and Better Made BBQ potato chips. I also enjoyed a nice, cold water from a Sunkist bottle.

That, my friends, is a lunch.

And it was served on the job--that job about which I wrote yesterday.

The woman on the crew--seriously, no sexism is implied--bought a little hibatchi yesterday (we'd all thrown in money) and, today, she grilled the dead cow and the cylindrical meat-stuffs. 'Twas tres bien.

Lisa said, "I have one more hot dog, here. Anyone want it?"

No answer was necessary. She jabbed the hot dog in a bun and walked it over to me.

Ken looked at me and threw his head back in silent laughter, shaking his head, his eyes squinched tight. "Dude," he finally said, "you're an animal. You're a fucking machine!"

I grovelled half the hot dog down in one bite--I was Takeru Kobayashi!--and chewed and swallowed and said, "Hey, it's damn good food. And I'm starving, man."

[My apologies to the homeless and the kids in third-world countries and people just basically down on their luck--and pocketbook.]

I was hungry. And the food was there. So...I ate.

After lunch, I attacked the hole (in the ground) with renewed vigor. Never mind the liquified dirt in which I was (getting my boots sucked off) stuck. I had eaten All-American good-assed fare! I was invincible!

And I'd hit my caloric threshold for the week--in one sitting. All was good.

Repent! Thy name is Gluttony.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Today, at work, we had a job at a chemical plant. Before we started to do anything, the Director of Environmental Safety, Sharon Something, had us all file into the breakroom so that she could run down the rules of the place.

The place is called Gage Products Company, and they specialize in "solvent-recovery and waste-stream management programs for the pharmaceutical, chemical and paint industries." Needless to say (but I will, anyway) there are a hell of a lot of chemicals there--Sharon said that the score or so of silo-like towers contained approximately one million gallons of a highly flammable substance used to change paint colors for the automotive industry. Yes. One million gallons of paint thinner. So the company was concerned about our safely doing our necessary "hot-tapping"--er, welding--seeing as how their gaseous chemicals--if there were a problem--would sink to the ground, where we (the gas- men and woman) were. In the ditchy-ditch.

Test question: Paint thinners and welding torches equal...? Class? Class?

Ka-boom. Yes! You get gold stars.

Sharon assured us that nothing had ever happened during the twenty-four years that she had worked there. Reassuring words, sure, but still, when I walked back out of the breakroom after the safety quiz and looked up at the 20-plus "silos," I gazed with new respect (and wide wondah) at those silver metal gods.

So, anyway, I was talking about the rules that Sharon Something had proffered. One, there was to be NO smoking on the grounds. If you simply had to smoke, you could cross Wanda Street to inhale the blasted carcinogens. (Ironic in a way, huh?) Also, absolutely no cell phones within the circumnavigation of the fenceline. They be ignition sources, don'tcha know. And also--this is funny--if the loudspeaker were to ever scream EVACUATE! we were to do so promptly and meet down the street in the church parking lot, across from the elementary school. Good Lord, God is good.

Man. Doesn't that just makes one's asshole pucker!

Oh, wait. I forgot something. Sharon Something, resplendant in her personalized green Gage hardhat, said, too, that the company had been around for seventy-plus years and, as a matter of course--seeing as how the environmental laws weren't as stringent back in the '40s as they are today--spills did happen. And, thus, the ground was perverte, contaminated, and it was in our best interests to wear yellow slush boots. "Gosh," she said, "I can't imagine doing something like this every day."

I nodded. "You're right," I said, "usually we don't work around a million gallons of highly-flammable liquids." I raised my eyebrows in mock horror.

She sniggered.

So, anyway, I entitled this post I'll Probably Feel This Tomorrow. It's really not because Sharon Something informed us that the toxic soil--non-cancerous! non-cancerous!--could, could, if absorbed through the skin, cause a narcological reaction, meaning--of course!--that one would feel somewhat spaced out, drunk. No, rather, the reason that I entitled this post I'll Probably Feel This Tomorrow is because, damn, we had to--I had to--break out about nine square feet of concrete in order to get to a gas service that we had to transform from "metal" to "plastic." That jackhammer is 75 pounds. It does a good job. It cuts through pavement. rattles the arms and it shimmies the back. It's a workout. And so I get paid for working out. And I love it.

I love Destruction.

I love my job.

How many people can say that?

Friday, June 13, 2008



The walls closed in. They started slowly, at first, and, eventually, picked up some speed.

By the time Herbert was aware, the walls had successfully jimmy-nogged his routes of escape.

He was trapped in the cave. The mammoth cave. The cave in which exits turned to shoulder-scrapers-breakers and the Outside was a fucking joke. Okay. No big deal.

Deal with it.

Herbert needed hydration. Herbert thought to himself, Dude?! Why did I not utilize the buddy system? I could use a hand, here. He looked at his crotch and said aloud, "Only if necessary."

Think, Herbert! Think! How to get Outside, mang? The walls were slick and shiny and smelled slightly of sulphur. Herbert dug a fingernail into a wall and it sliced off into his hand. From somewhere, he heard a preternatural wail, a scream that outbounded any semblance of humanity. The wail echoed off of the chamber and finally terminated.

Herbert grinned crookedly and said, "Oh. Okay. I am in an Earthbound version of Red. That's okay. I can still get outta here."

He sat down.

Silence echoes, if you think about it. Silence begets more silence and more silence until, eventually, that is all one hears. Silence. It reverberates. It busts the mind.

Turn off the noise.


Physical silence, sure, but also spiritual and mental silence. Nothingness.

Herbert sat and his mind jigged this way and that and he sat, shoulders hunched against the sulphurous wall, and he dangled his fingers between his knees.

No exit.


"Hello?!" He echoed his screams against the implacable walls. He felt his teeth cringe.

No answer.

He was here for the long haul. By himself. No angels existed. He had to make it happen. No deus ex machina. He'd not be saved by an illogical plot-saver.

He was in this for the long haul.

He worried about the air. Did it still have enough oxygen in it? Or was his rapid breathing replacing the O with the CO? Fuck.

"Fuck!" he shouted, listening and slap-grinning to the echoes.

"Um, fuck," he muttered.

10-by-30, 10-by-40, maybe. He thought about the Outside world.

He thought about his beautiful girlfriend, thought about kissing fiercely her soft rose petal lips, and he thought about massaging her shoulders, her breasts, making her feel good. He thought about family and he thought about friends that he'd lost over the years. He thought about his canines--otherworldly--and he thought about who would care for them. He thought about that one time, at age thirteen, when he had been privy to friends dis-utilizing another friend's bicycle.

"Sorry, Ray," he muttered. "'Twasn't my idear, ya hear."

The walls stunk of sulphur and lost Ambition.

Herbert sighed heavily and leaned back against the wall. Things would work out, he assured himself. My God, he was the primary actor in this slop. He'd wink out, right?

An hour passed.

Things became more fuzzy.

The fissures in the walls began to take on familiar characteristics of life-long co-actors of Herbert's. One crack was his mommy. The other two were his sisters. The one at the base of the opening was his brother.

"Father?" he asked. "Where the fuck are you?"

Silence echoed.

And so Herbert stared at the wall, contemplating drinking urine, for another fifteen minutes.

"Daddy?!" he shouted against the chambers, "Where the fuck are you?! I'm dyin', here!"

And a crack did begin to appear, ten inches from Herbert's right shoulder. It followed no logical sequence of nature. Rather, it cracked and crickled until Herbert's father's countenance was in broad relief against the LED of Herbert's helmet light.

His Daddy.

Right there. He'd never left. He'd always been there.

Herbert watched as the cracks and fissures filled in his father's face.

The cracks formed a beard and then scraggled up to fill in two bushy eyebrows. A wisp of hair, here, and then the fissures filled out his father's body: strong, thick, husky. A farmer's body.

Herbert cinched his eyes against some unwanted tears and and then opened and simply watched.

Fissures formed broad shoulders and filled in the trunk of Herbert's father.

Tears flowing openly, Herbert whispered, "God damn, Dad, I love you, you workhorse. You mothercrimper. I love you, man. God damn, I love you."

The image grew upon the cave wall until Herbert could see the lost memories. He could see his father, clad in a bathing suit, leading his children on The Dolphin. Herbert could feel the slick goodness of his dad's strong back, he could feel his tiny scrawny legs clamped against the solidity of fhis father's torso as his dad dipped down deep into the pleasures of Water.

Herbert blew his nose. Tears came out.

Herbert scanned the walls; he looked for escape.

Okay, he thought, let's enjoy the picture-show.

He lay down flat and he looked at the "ceiling."

On the movie screen, images came to life:

His daddy, pretending to be a Halloween prop, his dad, making the teakettles and sugar and coffee containers talk.

Hid daddy, bleeding from the scalp, underplaying it all as to not disturb the 9-year-old boy. His daddy had fallen off a 10-foot ledge and had cracked his head, yet the 9-year-old would not have believed that. The Daddy is strong, the Daddy is tall, the Daddy is invincible.

Blood be damned.


Herbert sighed and leaned deeper against the sulphurous walls. He closed his eyes and a smile touched his lips.

He fell asleep.

He never woke up.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


So, I was watching the evening news and they had a story from Panama. Apparently, a helicopter spun out of control--video included--and crashed through a couple buildingtops. Half a score Panamanian police officers died in the wreck.

Que horror.

In all seriosity, that really is life-altering for the relatives of the downed Panamanians. I wish them the best in their times of grief.

However, the egomaniac I am, I seized upon one pertinent piece of information. The newscaster--Devin Scillian--intoned, "The chopper was built in 1973 and was due to be retired."

'Scuse me, Devin. I was built in 1973...and I am in no way due to be retired.

As the gray encroaches upon my goatee and newscasters speak dustily about the year of my birth, I remain intertwined with a most simple concept: forget the past and never think about the morrow and you're always one day old.


Let's play FlapperJax.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I need one more fan. If I had that single fan, all would be right with the world. The fan that I used to have here in the den--blowing cool air and keeping my gray matter from overheating as I flibberdash at the Bench of Computation--now resides in the bedroom, where it blows cool air on me as I slumber.

Just one more fan--and I'll be golden.

Mother Michigan threw us foolz a 12-to-6 curveball, wherein she completely--it seems--bypassed Spring, buffeting us from under-average temperatures to sodden balmy ball-dropping moist heat.

[It's not the heat; it's the humidity.]

Thanks, Mother Michigan! :-D

At work on Friday, as I wielded a shovel and fused plastic gas services, I had a female co-worker use the fact that I sweat profusely and the word "disgusting" in the same sentence. "So, what are you saying?" I asked her. "Are you calling me disgusting?"

She laughed. Really quickly, she said, "Geez. You sound like Eminem. No no no no. I'm just saying, 'Jesus Christ, man! You've been dripping all day!' You sweat a ton. Maybe you should get that checked out."

Me, psuedo-haughtily: "It's the body's cooling mechanism."

"Yours is in overdrive."

I nodded. Laid shovel to earth.

So...that is me in Summer. Imagine a sun-baked flesh-colored ice cube, the size of a 195-pound man. Slap an "Adam" nametag on the beast. Imagine the omnipresent (some may even say preternatural) faucet-like drip. Dripping from the brim of the baseball cap. Dripping from the brim of the hardhat. Dripping from the smooth bald pate. Dripping from the eyebrows. Dripping into the eyes. Dripping from the fingertips, for God's sake! (Rice wine.) Making denim thighs slippery and shiney.

Me in Summer. Adam. Cube-Man.

Coobadam, am I. So, um, when's Fall, again?