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.
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. Annnnnd...it 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?