February 25, 2006

The Honey Wagon

By AlCantHang © 2006

I drive the shit truck. The Honey Wagon. I'm a drunk. It's my job and I hate it. The job, not the drink.

I wasn't always this way. I started out enjoying the good life with great potential. No one knew I'd be the most tenured driver on shit detail by the age of 30. I was popular in high school, a certified jock, and the beginning of college was no different. I had a moderate yet accurate fastball which resulted in a decent scholarship at a tiny college. This allowed me to spend plenty of time drinking and mingling with the "pretty" people. It would be great to tell you that my descent to where I am now was caused by something dramatic and shocking. This is no tale of the star athlete who got caught nailing the dean's 16-year old daughter after plastering her with booze and low grade pharmaceuticals.

It was my damned fast ball that landed me on the career path towards portable raw sewage pickup. The accurate left arm that once had me living the good life would soon spend more time lifting a pint of bourbon than delivering any victories.

It was a normal college Friday night. There were more parties than I could chose from and I'd be welcome at each. It wasn't baseball season but I was still a hit at the parties because I was always there and never failed to bring some premium booze and girls.

I grabbed a couple of girls hanging around the apartment and walked to the nearest party. It was still early but I always like to get a head start on the festivities. The atmosphere was still low key just waiting for the burst of post-drinking game craziness. We were standing around bullshitting with the host when the backup catcher walked in the door and changed my life.

The next to last baseball game of the season could have been my ticket to the next level. Our coach was known to do a decent job working with pitchers and occasionally a minor league scout would make an appearance. One showed up during my final start. Unfortunately for me, the backup catcher was playing. Didn't that fucker go and screw up my chance.

Details are unnecessary, just take my word that I wasn't pleased to see him at the party. I was still bitter and my drinking had really ramped up. He never knew what he had done and how it affected me. Why should he care? His rich bitch mother paid for the new turf at the stadium and he'd never have to work a hard day in his life.

"Hey Jack, can you throw me a beer!" Those were the last words he ever uttered without a severe speech impediment.

Everything goes into slow motion and I relive this moment every time I find myself up to my elbows in your shit.

I reached into the keg bucket full of ice and beer cans. Iron City Light, for the record. I picked up a beer, shook off the excess water and turned towards the guy who cost me the best shot at relative fame and fortune and groupies. He was just standing there with an idiotic grin on his face holding out his hands.

Without the slightest thought, and with very little effort, the can fired out of my hand. Straight and true as always. I told the cops later that I accidentally threw the can too hard and too high. That wasn't the truth. I intended to drill that cock smoker right between the eyes.

I can still see that can flying in a perfect line. End over end until the bottom of the can slammed smack in the middle of his forehead. He never got his hands higher than his shoulders. No fancy movie shit where he shakes his head then falls down. No drama. He dropped like a fuckin' rock and things instantly speed back up. He was doing the shimmy shake on the carpet and people started pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, my ass all over the place. "Asshole!" "Douchebag!" and "Moron!" were my new nicknames.

I was numb and the same thought was repeating itself in my head.

I did the "time" prescribed by the judicial system. I thought maybe the stay would help me sober up. My former backup catcher would never be the same. Mommy and Daddy spent a large chunk of their rotten money to keep him comfortable. Speech therapists and nurses and probably even someone to rub the dribble off his chin. I guess if I cared, I might try to visit or apologize.

But I don't so I don't.

I still have that same thought going through my head occasionally. Especially on the nasty days. The 100 degree Sauna of Shit. Crappers falling over. Even when a former co-worker drowned face down in an over flooded shitter I had the same thought.

"Cock sucker never could catch."

Al Cant Hang is a seasoned Socologist from Phoenixville, PA.

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