Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Patrick Flynn and Ronald Tipton, 2016.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Does This Suit Make me Look Fat?

Well, does it?

Actually it kind of makes you look like a big egg with legs.

Or perhaps a bird, a white giant parakeet with that mask forming a beak.

The masks hurt. At least mine did. It has this band across the nose that really pinched.

It is hard to breathe in these things when you have a totally clear head, but coming off the flu makes it a real ordeal. They weren't meant for running noses, I'll tell you that. I had to go outside several times and blow my nose.

That's right, I came down with the flu right after our last trip, which was on December 22. I wasn't completely over it yet. On top of that, I woke with arthritis flaming through my left foot. How great was that? I could barely stand up and I was going for a day of stand up work. I popped a couple Tylenols and left my foot to drugs and God.

What am I doing in this contraption anyway? Oh, didn't you know this is the latest style from Calvin Klein? Actually it is more in line with Calvin Slime or the House of Mold. We were up on the Island above Seaside Heights gutting out the houses flooded in Hurricane Sandy. This suits protect our clothes and us from contamination and the masks protect our lungs. This house had a lot of black mold.

This is the job to have if you like hard work fraught with some possible risk, long days and low pay. The pay is zero, zip, nana, but the reward is great when you see the gratitude in the homeowners' faces.

Here we are, gathering at 5:15 in the morning to make the hour and half trip north. Rick, the name of the man in the middle, is having some coffee against the chill (a balmy 30 degrees this morning).

I skip that particular treat when I head off on these trips. There aren't any working toilets where we're going and porta-potties are few and far between and I'm in my 70s and you know what age can do to your drainage system. I don't need any coffee helping with that.

Excuse the indelicacy here, but usually I make a run to the restroom at the church in Toms River where we gather before heading out for the day. This didn't work well this morning. I have a bashful bladder and the restroom at the church had one stall and one urinal. The stall was occupato, but I got to the urinal first. Unfortunately for me, Rick was right behind me and stood near waiting. This caused my inner-workings to go on bashful strike and I left with anything I entered with.

We went and did the first house, which was on the mainland.

Then after a couple hours we finished up and headed for the island. We stop at a furniture store (pictured left) to make sure everyone in our convoy is present before going over the bay bridge to the island. Our leader pulled into a Wawa, though, before we got that far. Several people headed inside to use the restroom. Some of us, like myself, decided to wait and use a port-potty. They had one at the furniture store lot and I figured I'd hit it and be good for the rest of the day. Surprise! When we got to the furniture store that port-potty was no longer there.

WE worked until 4:30 and then had to leave the island before the police shut it up for the night. Our group stopped at a restaurant to eat on the way home. I figured at this point I'd held it this long, I'd make it home, except the waitress kept refilling my Pepsi. It was a big glass, after all, this was Jersey, not New York City where that elitist snob Mayor Bloomin'boob runs the food police and bans big sodas. (The first of the  Pepsis is pictured on the right with its silly straw.)

When she brought the third Pepsi I decided it was time to head to the pit stop.  I know, I didn't have to drink all that, but waste not, want not. There are thirsty children somewhere in the world who would love three pints of Pepsi.

I make light, but it is a sad situation for all those people caught by Hurricane Sandy. It was just before Halloween they were devastated, over two months ago and so far mostly what they have gotten from the government, local, state and federal, are excuses and the runaround.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Yes, that suit makes you look FAT! Oh my goodness, I could never have kept my bladder under control as long as you did. It hurt me just reading about your dilemma. I too am pee shy and if someone was standing behind me waiting to use the urinal I too would have stopped up. I just cannot go with an audience. I don't know how I ever got through Army basic training. Many a time we were in the field and had to pee in a circular drum fill with oil.

Thank you for all the good work you're doing for the Hurricane Sandy victims. It's more than your Party of Choice is doing in the House. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Ron