Monday, September 27, 2004

Fire! Fire!

What would three teenagers with a dumpster full of cardboard and matches do?

Surly not light the dumpster on fire right? Well, unfortunately, you would be very wrong...

Part of our job was to haul the large trash laden plastic buckets on wheels out to the dumpster and dispose of the refuse in a timely and efficient manner. You might imagine that this was the kind of job that most people were disinclined to volunteer for. You'd be half right, the girls never wanted to do it, but we guys literally jumped at the chance, because that meant hanging around out by the dumpster shooting the breeze and engaging in an all time favorite masculine pastime, playing with trash.

One fine day, someone decided to throw away a bunch of matches. This did not go unnoticed by the dumpster crew, who immediately devised a mighty fine plan, light something on fire. See fire. Fire good!

I'd like to go on record now, stating that I thought it was a bad idea to actually light something inside the dumpster on fire. I preferred a more singlistic approach to the whole endeavor. I would have been satisfied with one small burning object at a time. That was the road I thought we were maneuvering down, but as it turns out, not for the first time, I was wrong.

Scott was one big dude. He had a twin brother, which never failed to freak me out. There's something about two people who look exactly alike that blows my mind. Anyway, this guy was not afraid to try anything once. And still not afraid the second time, in case the first time didn't work out. And in case the two previous attempts were flukes, he'd be happy to give it another handful of gos.

So it was that Scott became the match master that day and dutifully set about lighting a piece of cardboard pizza box on fire. The box accepted its charge and lit up like a gasoline soaked cigar. It was at that particular point in time, that is the point in time when Scott was holding a burning pizza box, that the Imp of the Perverse (thanks Mr. Stephenson) persuaded him to launch the damn thing into the depths of the dumpster and cuss a little but.

In fact, a great deal of cussing was involved during the events that followed. The pizza box urged some of its half eaten neighbors to catch on fire also. We quickly cussed a little bit more, then snuffed out the fire with some yet to burn pieces of garbage. All was well, we breathed a sigh of relief and went back into the restaurant and very unassumingly got back to work.

Something nagged me though. I had to go back and check. I couldn't concerntrate on work, and that meant that customer's weren't getting the best pizzas they could (my primary concern). So out I went, back to the dumpster and was greated with a blazing inferno. The black plastic dumpster lids had melted off and fell into the fires of hell, and a small crowd of people had gathered around to observe.

I mocked great surprise and ran back to get the fire extinguisher. When I returned, the fire department was there and had taken control of the situation. I trotted back to work, put the extinguisher down, and left early that day.

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