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I keep it more gully than Jonathan Livingston.


I was a garbageman.

(from Ye Olde Blog)

I feel dirty.

No really.. I do.

Look over there on the left of the page.. where I made the funny ha-ha d&d reference to being a garbageman. That's no joke. See, I work for North America's #1 Junk Removal Service. It shall remain unnamed for legal purposes. Speak not of it.

Anyway, you pay us to haul away your crap. Usually, it's couches and old appliances.. that sorta thing. No big deal. But every once in awhile it'll be the dreaded Abandoned Rental Unit. This is, by far, the worst possible scenario for my junk removing brethren.

Here's why.. imagine that you're a landlord. got it? good. now first, don't kill yourself because you're a soulless bastard who feasts on the flesh of tiny living babies... this is only pretend. Anyway, imagine someone skips town on you. You go and check their rented apartment or house.. If these are normal folks who are running from debt, or maybe some guy named Snake, they aren't gonna take the time to clean considering that they're forfeiting their security deposit and whatnot to get out of Dodge. So you have your facilities people come clean out their cabinets and send their name to collections. No big deal.

See, that's -normally-. In the unfortunate case that your tenants are crazy fucked over junkies, you will find slightly more than a few cabinets full of crap and messy carpet. These folks have gone and turned your lower-to-middle income rental unit into quite the literal cesspit. So much so that your normal cleaning folk take one look at the place and beg to be fired.

This is about the part where we come in.

So me and my business associate arrive on the premises at approximately 9am. It's a little crackerbox house built in the late `50's that sits squarely on the unstylish north side of town. The yard has weeds about knee high. Under the carport, there's a rusted out Buick that's covered in random garbage. Magazines, fast food bags, and car parts are strewn both inside and on top of it. We try looking through the windows of the house, but they're covered with grime from the inside. No one is on site to tell us what to do. In these situations they never are. We just get the call and they tell us to clean it up. So we walk over and try the door.. turns out that it's either stuck or jammed. We figure that nobody is gonna miss the door, seeing that the wood is already completely splintered and it will certainly have to be replaced. The normal cleanup guys would've asked for keys, or they might try ramming a shoulder or two into the door to see if it would budge. We don't do that. We're uniformed professionals.

We use sledgehammers.

It's really not as dramatic as it sounds. The word sledgehammer carries such a brutish, ominous tone that one would think that the bearer of such an item would have trouble making all nine of his brain cells fire at once, so as to unleash the hellish fury that is a sixteen pound hunk of steel attached to a stick. Quite the contrary.. using a sledgehammer is an art. Yeah, I know.. it sounds pretentious.. but I had to find out the hard way that you can pound the hell out of a wooden bookcase all you want, but if you aren't taking out the right joints in the right order you'll just have some numb hands with wicked blisters 20 minutes later. Oh, and the old lady who hired you will be giving you a rather baleful glare for abusing her dead husband's bookshelf so.

But I digress. We smack the doorknob off with the hammer and let ourselves in. We look at the mess, look at each other, and decide to take a break.. to have a little man cry, if you will. This 1300 square foot house is -completely- covered with old magazines, newspapers, boxes, bottles, more magazines, half-rotten clothes.. and did I mention magazines? The garbage was about ankle deep all the way through the house with the exception of one of the bedrooms.. in there it was up to my hip. It was molded, it was mildewed, and it was disgusting. Worst of all, it was weird. Some of the magazines were fairly recent.. maybe a year old. Some were from the early `70's. Same with the newspapers. We found a plastic Aquafina bottle next to a glass Pepsi bottle that had to be over 30 years old.. and this was next to a Corn Flakes box
with Mary-Lou Retton flashing her pearly whites on it. There were probably a dozen copies of the Weekly World News from 1990 or so right beside a book filled with abnormal psychology notes. We found multiple books on investment and finance which had been obviously put to good use, what with the penny stock investment brochures in the other room. Oh, and we discovered a rather large stash of early 80's hardcore S&M porn. Some of it was scary.. some of it was only men. Party. Bonus.

We were trying to figure out what kind of person lived like this when I stumbled across it. I was cleaning out the drawers in the kitchen when I found a box of surgical tubing. I thought, hey, that's an interesting thing to keep next to your 5 year old brick of vacuum sealed Maxwell House. I pitched both boxes into the garbage can and opened another cabinet. Paydirt.. an old 64 ounce jug crammed full of syringes.

It took us eight hours to clean the rest of that shithole out. Shovel, dump, and haul the trashcan out to the truck.. over and over. It was unbearbly hot. We ended up covered in old backwoods third-world type grime. Every time I blew my nose the tissue ended up black.. I'm seriously wondering if I could've contracted tuberculosis from being in that place so long. We easily threw away 5000 magazines. The box on our truck is 8' by 12' by 5'. It's about 90% full. Our boss called at the end of the day, he said we get to go back tomorrow and tear out the carpet. I'm allergic to carpet.. especially rotten carpet. I'm thrilled.

Moral Of The Story: If you have a Masters Degree and can only find a $9 an hour job, make sure it's one where you can find big boxes full of drug money.

$300 to be exact.

I take it back...

Today was the worst day I've had at this job. It's just been a banner week for me I suppose. We didn't get to go back to the aformentioned Crazy-Assed Palace.. and I was kinda bummed about that because I brought my camera to take pictures of it. Sorry folks. I know I let you down. I -did- manage to take a couple of pictures of the dump transfer station that I frequent on a daily basis. We typically don't go to the landfill.. we drop it at this place. That bulldozer in the first picture, which we have affectionatly named The Shitplow, scoots all of your household debris into a big hole in the back corner of the building. At the bottom of the hole is a garbage squishy thing that goes all Eastern Bloc on your capitalist pig-dog waste.. when it's finished doing its nefarious deeds, the giant lego brick of refuse gets shipped off to the real landfill where it is snapped into place to build secret government sanctioned Moon Rockets.

It's all terribly complicated. And smelly.

But I digress.. we got to do another rented house that had been abandoned.. but this time it was a bunch of ivy-league college students who were in a band. Sure, the other place had porn and needles, but this place had porn and rotten.. well, rotten everything. Hadta clean out the whole house, the basement (where I killed 58 spiders.. I started counting after the fifth), a guest house/recording studio, a garage, and a shed full of rotting wood. At the end of the day I felt like I ran 15 miles and then rolled around naked in a crawlspace. It wasn't any where near as interesting as yesterday.. just disgusting, so I'll quit bitching about it. The last thing I wanna do is turn this site into a My-Job-Sucks-More-Than-Your-Job Dick Swinging Calvacade And Extravaganza.. cause hey, the dude that drives The Shitplow will win hands down.

On a happier note, I kept their four track recorder. One of the, ahem, "perks" of my job is that I get to keep whatever I want. So far I've scored a wee television and some other assorted doo-dads. If you ever need a couch, lemme know. I've got couches coming out of my ass.. and boy howdy, talk about a square peg and round hole.

ba dum bum!

Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all week folks! And please, remember to tip your server!