We Gotta Get Out of This Place
By ice rivers
Sitting in the Merchant's Bar and Grill at last call. Dino, the bar tended, has changed his shoes and he's ready to go home which means we are as well.
Five hours from now, we'll be heading to a job that we both hate.
We'll arrive at the shack on Jay Street in a dirty old part of the city. Some old fart will tell us what tools we need and how much feritlizer, mulch or whatever we had to load on the truck in fifty pound bags. Everything we loaded, we knew we'd have to unload. It was like picking out the whip that somebody was going to beat you with.
Then we got in the dump truck, in the back, with the fertilizer.
Usually, the bosses would stop off at a bar and grab a couple of shots of whiskey before taking us to the worksite.
The level of the work depended on the mood of the field boss who was usually in fear of the master of the work domain who we used to call the janitor but now we called the custodian and he/they didn't like us because they suspected we were colllege kids/lazy long haired assholes.
We worked all day with a couple of breaks. One time we took a break and went down to the beach where Richard lost his shoes. It did not go well with Richard when we returned to work. Old Joe was our boss that day and he hated Richard. Richard tried to get out of work on the basis of having no shoes. Old Joe wouldn't have anything to do with that. He went deep into a shed and came out with a gigantic pair of ancient galoshes and some twine. He made Richard twine the galoshes onto his feet and get on with the job.
Richard went and disappeared somewhere and he took his spade with him.
Nobody knew where he was until suddenly he emerged, staggering at galosh speed, whooping and brandishing his spade like a spear. He was chasing a giant rat and sure enough, he launched the spade into the air ahead of the rat who ran into it with its face and then ran eyeless and noseless into some bushes. When we got to the spade, imbedded in the mud, it was full of ratface.
Eventually, our work was finished and we got back in the truck and drove to the dump. Going to the dump was the highlight of the day because it meant our work was more or less over.
From the dump we went back to the shed, where we told the story of the galoshes and the ratface spade. We went home and cleaned up. Went back to the Merch where Dino would always say "Two fer you?" when we walked in knowing that we weren't going to get just one draft at a time, we were going to order two which we did and before long we started to dread the next day and hope that our bosses for the next day would be the black guys who instead of stopping off at the bar for a whiskey, took the truck into the ghetto and used the equipment on the lawns of their neighbors. When that happened we would sit in the dump truck and sleep it off as best we could.
Then it would be back at the Merch. Sometimes we'd put a buck in the jukebox and play
"We Gotta Get Outta This Place" ten times in a row.
Eventually, somehow, we did.