please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Family Portrait

I love this image of Rick Santorum conceding defeat, and have been studying the damn thing ever since I made it my wallpaper.

I love the fact that I just can't feel sorry for the stage-weeping little girl up front, nor the one that's at That Awkward Age, in the back.

I love their brother for so openly either flaunting how batshit insane he truly is, or understanding that there is serious political hay to be made from being perceived as insane.

But best of all, I enjoy Mrs. Santorum (Skeletor, R-Penn.). Look at that true ventriloquist's calm as she mutters into her shoulder mike. Can't you just hear her now, sounding equal parts drunk and having recently suffered a stroke?:
"Riiiiichhk...Tell dem bout how you hatesch zhe faaaagggzzz agaiiiiin, Riiiichhk...Meebe de'll underrrstan' how much you love dem, Riiiiichhk, and de'll bote choo bachhh innagainnn, Riiiiiiiiiiiiccchhhhkkk..."


Then there's ol' frothy anal mucosa himself, with a grin that pretty much screams, "Hey; what can I say? I'm an asshole!". Then the floor opened beneath him, and he, his demon larvae and his "wife" were gathered unto the bosom, once more, of the Lord of the Flies.

I have a co-worker who oftentide is the one who gets to drive the forklift. This means that, until something heavy needs to be moved, he is either listening to Bob Seger very loudly on his phone, or talking to someone on said phone.
The thing is, he's always making strange demands of whoever's on the other end.
"Well, you'd better make me that birthday cake you owe me," I heard him conclude a conversation with his daughter, and later, to someone else; "Okay, that's two times you need to let me drive the school bus, but- it's cool. We'll work it out."
And it makes me wonder what his end of the bargain was, in any of these cases:
"So I've shot the sheriff, naturally sparing the deputy. Now will you let your backbone slip and tell me how to whap-a-dang?", or
"I knew you were comin', so I baked that cake I owe you. Now I'm gonna need to get My Comeuppance. Are we cool?", and
"I filet-ed all the venison into miniature busts of popular late-night funnyman Jay Leno. Now where's my suitcase igloo?"

Something like that. But recently, someone smashed a window at the union hall, reached in and grabbed a laptop computer that had scads of personal information on it regarding members, especially recent hires, like myself.
But the joke here, of course, is: Hey, you want my credit rating? YOU CAN HAVE IT, BUDDY! (cue laugh track). I'm not especially worried, and the best part of all was, aforesaid co-worker had some advice.
In a long monologue delivered in front of both people that he's known for years and people he's never even met, he explained at length that he has never given accurate information about himself to an employer, ever. He's provided false Social Security Numbers, and generally lies about his home address. If you've got an accurate phone number for him (and oddly, apparently many people do), it's because he either trusts you, or he forgot to obfuscate that day.

No one asked, and I was really hoping he was going to drop the subject, but he further explained why he did this, sort of. "Well, you know what I do, right? Well, because of that...", he said as a perfectly audible aside to one of the other lifers. If the guy was trying to impress us with his junior James Bond skills, he failed utterly.
So, to recap: always lie about everything, then hint darkly (and loudly, in front of a bunch of strangers) that you're engaged in something nefarious. This way, even if the meth head who stole the laptop in the first place manages to hack into the damn thing...
Uh, no, actually. The two have no real connection. And what he does? You mean living in a strangely diseased world of his own making?

He can have it, in short. But the thing is, people like him will be the same folks I'll be deliberating with on a monthly basis, if I pass a relatively simple test on Monday.
With their usual spit n' polish attention to detail, the union has given me four days to prepare for the exam that will determine whether or not I become a full-blown cardholder. This is after a call I received in May, asking whether or not I wished to take the test the day after the call. No, I said; how about next month (which would be 'June')?
Here it is, almost August, and I recognize that the office manager returning to prison probably has made things iffy around there, but I finally had to do the equivalent of standing on a chair and saying, 'hey! Remember meeeee?' while waving my arms comically. That did it.

Anyway, the further...Not 'indignity' exactly, but 'reason for feeling weird' is the low-stakes nature of the exam. The stakes aren't low in terms of earning potential; this is where I determine whether or not I spend the rest of my stagehanding career doing those jobs where I am accompanied by a bunch of jizz-headed kids who would gladly work for beer, or the unprecedented opportunity to see Hoobastank for free. No: I'd like to be paid well, and would rather do it in the company of people who, while old as the hills and cranky as fuck, at least know what they're doing.
'Low stakes', though, in terms of what I actually do. Again; tying knots, for instance. As one of the older stagehands put it last Xmas, when we spent all day long doing just that, "Most of what we do would be familiar to any sailor from the 1700's."

A lot of what I do comes down to ridiculously simple things that anyone could do (but since this is union world we're talking about here, and job security is paramount, not everybody will be able to do), and then in equal measure, things that I am completely at sea with. My nervousness around electrical equipment is a thing of legend.

But fuck it. I really wish that animatedknots.com was working for me today (though I appreciate written passages like, "Wrongly handled, gripped, or tied, rope can kill, maim, or burn. You could be the victim!", and the fact that there is such thing as the National Speleological Society), so I might better come to understand the Trucker's Hitch. In any case, I suspect that those union types just, like any pyramid scheme, want my money. And, I'll gladly do it for the job opportunities and for what can occasionally pass for Family.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Junk Thief said...

I've loved the photo since it came out. The girl in front has a very Children of the Corn look to her. and the boy looks like an early internet predator to me.

3:57 PM  

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