Friday, July 6, 2007

The Joys of the Dump Truck

Vrrrooom, vrrooooom. Clank, clank. Oh the bygone days of onomatopoeia, when cities on the living room rug were made of recycled milk cartons and blocks, and the dump truck was the enforcer! Nothing could stop the dump truck. Your brother came by with his dinosaur, you ran it over. Your sister thought her "My little pony" could save the day, you threw it in the back of the dump truck and unloaded it off a block tower. Dump trucks, like the O'Doyles, ruled.

Today I knew I was in for it. I wanted to sleep a little because I knew I'd be working from 9PM to 5AM today. Graveyard. I didn't want to be another corpse, but of course I was awoken from my slumber at an early hour to help out a family member with something that was anything but urgent. So I was off to a good start. Then, when I tried to get back to my rest I was awoken once again, by the incessant ringing of my phone. I had to make it stop, and in my incoherent grogginess I answered it. It was my former boss, and he needed a favor. I was reluctant at first, but then he said those magic words: Dump Truck. I didn't exactly jump out of bed, because he said I'd need to pay for the dumping until he could meet with me later in the day, but we resolved that, and my enthusiasm resumed.

1988 was a good year. This truck was forged into a man-beast on that fateful year. Green, dilapidated, dirty, and formerly owned by the DC Housing Authority, it was a gem. A diamond if I may, in the rough. Except, it's hard to say how much diamond was left in this rough. So my first task was to unload construction junk at the "transfer station" (a PC term for what used to be called "the dump"). So of course, as luck would have it, after waiting forever to get weighed on the scale, the lady at the window took my permit, refused to return it, and said I couldn't dump there, but had to go to Lorton, a place in the middle of nowhere that used to be a prison complex on the edge of Fairfax County Virginia. I was perturbed. I called my boss, who was also perturbed, having dumped there for the past month. So, I resolved to park the dump truck and have a word with this lady. Long story short, I got the pass back and was permitted to dump. However, I dumped in the wrong place, got yelled at, finagled out of it claiming novice incompetence and ignorance, and then got to load the beast with "free mulch" to deliver to one of my boss's projects.

Now, the construction debris was easy to dump with the hydraulic lift, but the guy who loaded the mulch packed it in with so much skill as to render my job mission impossible. So after about 45 minutes of raising the bed and lowering it, going forward, then reverse, I finally dumped it. Sweaty, and freckled with mulch, and all the while on my cell phone with a friend, I was victorious. I had lived the dream. I drove a dump truck.

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