I was covered in human waste from head to toe.
As a swamper on the ‘honey wagon’ it was my job to unlatch the trap door at the rear of the vacuum truck tank in order to allow it’s toxic contents to spew.
This was before all them environmental friendlies started suggesting that just dumping shit anywhere might not be good for the planet but back then it was common practice to back the truck up to the edge of our small town’s garbage pit and let the steaming stream rip in all her malodorous glory.
It was a sight to behold.
Anyway, on this day I was a runner-up newbie on the most dastardly of jobs: sucking out customer’s filled with yugly septic tanks and hauling the lovelies far, far away from their poop of origin.
I was working with the company owner’s arrogant son and his shit eating grin hinted at the notion that today would be the day of my vacuum truck christening on account of just recently having naively passed my “go into the yard and find the sky hook for us, hurry!” test with flying colors.
Apparently, I had been promoted.
Yes Sir Yes Sir Three Tanks Full
We filled the Big Dripper with three septic tanks worth of smelly cargo to ensure the slurry was good and goodie and then headed to the dump to empty.
On the way to unload our booty the driver informed me how to work the double latch handle which secured the emptying gate on our truck tank.
“Flip the boomer hard and fast away from you and then step back so’s you don’t get splashed” were his instructions and once situated over the edge of the garbage dump, I did just that.
I slammed the boomer away from me and the door swung open to 25% and stayed there with tons of excrement all trying to escape at the same time in a huge backspray of sickening solution.
“Hit it again!” was all I heard from the cab and as I was now already drenched in ga ga, I flailed at the boomer until it fully unlatched, allowing the door to swing all the way open and the load to form the most wonderful dark brown arc which continued on it’s path, painting the rusting autos and old refrigerators in a more unbecoming pallor.
By now I was starting to go into shock and my mind shot straight to my pimple covered face and all those open wounds that were now bathed in stranger’s strangeness. Far away in the background I could hear the owner’s son laughing wildly and in that surreal moment I realized that I was quite likely capable of murder.
But for some reason, probably early SNAPtik control 😎 , kill him I didn’t.
I just stood there dripping slime and started taking off my shirt to wipe my face with the less shitty side.
Ah’ll Attend Yer Funeral
“C’mon, let’s go!” giggled the normally authoritarian voice from the cab of the truck. “We’ve still got two more pickups, let’s go!”
I crawled back into the dirty old cab and told moron that I wanted to go home to change.
“Change after we unload” he said, “You might get more on you…”
Dude steadfastly refused to take me home so I finished the day covered in crap as a seething against employers began to grow in me.
After learning from the old boys drinking in the shop that the tank gate should be opened from the other side I could only force myself to work for that company for a few more weeks. It took me several years to understand my disgust about the way I was treated by those corporate retards and these words you are reading are part of that recovery.
As I was about to find out over the next four decades, the world has a ton of people in power who sport almost zero regard for their fellow humans.
And for some reason they were attracted to me.
Dirty, stinky, shit covered me.
Thank you, friend.