They had me schedule to work the Hive today. I wasn't looking forward to it.
It's funny. There was a long time when I thrived on working that house. I just ate up the stress and the aggravation and the smell and the violence inherent in the place.
Working the Hive was like being a gladiator. I'd walk into the arena each day wondering if I was going to be able to walk out again under my own power at the end of the shift. There was a time when it was that dangerous. I'd seen more than one coworker carried out of the place and off to the hospital.
I was lucky. Extremely lucky. I'd been hurt a few times, sure. Left bits of my skin and not a little of my blood on the floors and walls in the Hive in my day. Like so many others. But I never got hurt too bad that I couldn't come right back that evening, if not the next day.
And every night when I walked out I felt good and happy and not just a bit relieved that I had made it through another day.
Not so much anymore, though. Now 99% of the danger is gone and pretty much just the aggravation remains. The Hive has gone from being the Colosseum to being an office building with noisy neighbors.
Snap it was hot! I just barely made it inside the fence and I'm already sweating. Took my hat off and laid it on top of my lunch box in the shade and ran my hand through my short brush of gray hair. My hand came away wet. Yuck. I keep an extra handkerchief stashed just to dry off with. Wiped off my hand and ran it over my head like a beach towel.
Stood there awhile and waited for the crew to assemble. Chatted awhile with the Watcher and the Fireman and Miz Fawkes, who had gotten an embarrassing rip in her pants. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it. But my eyes kept getting drawn to that flash of pale skin. I thought she knew about it. Apparently not. The next thing I knew she was on her way down to the training building for a new pair of pants. I guess her idea about the stapler didn't work.
Finally, it was time. I tossed my hat back on my head and said "All right. Let's get this over with."
It was hotter than crap and I knew the knuckleheads were all going to be hot and pissed off. And the house was almost full so if anything happened we had very little room to maneuver as far as moving people around.
Plus we had the cream of the present crop of prime wobbleheads down there already. They had already been playing the little attention games lately.
In short, it was prime ingredients for one heck of a long night. If we didn't have a mostly veteran crew like we had, it could have been bad.
The Super Twins were already down there running rec. It was me, Farmer John, Super V in the bubble and Sgt LB. Super V hadn't run that bubble much but he knew how and did his very best to keep up with all of our comings and goings. He did good.
Farmer John and I did count and a good portion of the feeding and later, when the Super twins were doing rec, searched ten cells. That was always a good time for somebody to get pissed off and start a ruckus. But we double teamed them and kept them corralled and nothing happened.
We had no lockups, no check-ins and no trouble at all.
And we all fought against saying the dreaded "Q" word that would jinx us.
Me, I waited until LB and I walked out into the parking lot after work.
"Man! It sure was a quiet night!" He just laughed and walked away.
Wednesday will be Take Your Pants For A Walk Day. Yeah. I'll do that. It will also be Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day, Barbie In A Blender Day and Walk On Stilts Day.
Let's see you do all of that at the same time! Can you imagine what the parade would look like? Woof!
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