Tuesday, July 16, 2013

He has a fag in his mouth

It is so hot here.  As I was standing outside yesterday talking with a really good friend of mine and butt sweat was running freely, we were reminded of Nebraska, July 1997.

We were in Fremont.  We drove to the outskirts of town and began our work.  It was the hottest part of the summer and it was so humid.  The temperature was 115 degrees inside the metal building.  There were huge tanks and about 19 cats.  They were there to keep the mice down.  They roamed freely in and out of the building and rows of corn surrounding us.

The molasses started to flow, the sweet smell filled the air sending out an invitation...and the flies started to arrive.  As we continued making the liquid feed, the number of flies increased.  We were sweating profusely by this time.  The flies were walking around the frame of my glasses and sitting in my hair.  The cats walked along the edges of the large vats of our sugary smelling mix.  It was clearly one version of Hell.  I visualized that if I didn't become a better person, the end for me would involve a room filled with spiders or this - suffocating humidity, cats, and more flies than the Amityville Horror.

Just then one of the workers began counting.  When he counted 19, he hooked up the hose and began to pump our mix through the hoses to the outside storage tank where our study would commence.  I asked him why he counted.  He said "the cats" as though annoyed with my question.  "Sometimes they fall in and clog the lines."  That is one of the most disgusting things I had heard to that point.

I have never been so happy to be done with a day and change out of my clothes.  I think I just threw them away.  You can't get sweat like that out, ever.  The night though was filled with the best steak I had ever tasted and gambling at the local casino.  At the very end of the evening, we had to stop at the local Walmart and get some buckets for the next day.  As we walked through the parking lot toward our motel, my co-worker proceeded to say "look at that guy over there with the fag in his mouth." I didn't hear anything after that.  "Um, what, that is completely inappropriate?!"  I am pretty sure the look on my face clearly shown what my mind was thinking...He immediately realized what he had said.  Fag is English slang for cigarette.  I think that may have been one of my first cultural differences experiences.

I have captured that in my little book of sayings I have heard over the years.  It is between "I don't have a pot to piss in" and "Cold as a witch's tit."