Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dripping the Light Fantastic

Hot enough for you?

Not for some prisoners on a work detail that I saw yesterday afternoon. It's not like we have the tent-city, pink-underwear, baloney-sandwich, chain-gang prison in our fair hamlet. But we do have three state prisons within a forty-mile radius. Good for jobs, you know. State merit system jobs. And speaking of gainful employment, those prisoners like to have the groundskeeping-crew jobs. It's a privilege. Plus it gives one the opportunity every now and then to run off and be discovered hiding under a boat.

The work detail wears the standard prison garb of gray pants and white T-shirts. If they're working on the road right-of-way, they also wear the flimsy orange don't-run-over-me vests. Some of those dudes yesterday had accessorized by adding...are you ready for this...orange sock caps. Yeah. The knit kind you wear in the winter to hold in your body heat so it is not lost through your scalp. Which is something that, um, most people would like to lose when the temperature is 95 degrees.

But I'm not here to discuss inmates and their fashion statements. I'm here to talk about perspiration. The sum total of my manual labor yesterday was carrying in some groceries. While I don't mean to brag, I would like the record to show that I did my part for the water cycle by contributing scalp rivulets and underboob sweat back to the environment.

My son, Genius, is a world-class water cycle donor. In the Water Cycle Olympics, he would hold the gold medal for every event in the hand and foot division. It's a wonder he doesn't short out his phone while texting. He could coin a new walking on eggshells phrase: walking on banana peels. At times, I think he must be part snail, considering the trail he leaves.

A couple of years ago, he took apart his brother's computer to add a sound card. He perched on the chair with one foot on the floor, and the other foot on the seat, his knee bent up by his chin. A minor industrial accident occurred, perhaps due to his slippery fingers. A small hole was gouged into the flesh of his hand. I applied a Scooby Doo Band-Aid to staunch the flow of his life fluid from the newly-opened spigot. As he was finishing the task and putting the cover back on the computer, he called for my attention.

"See that?" Genius pointed to the floor under the chair. I peered at the tile, expecting to see some crimson drops of blood. "That's a puddle of sweat that dripped off my foot."

World. Record. Holder.

3 comments:

Sioux said...

"Scalp rivulets...underboob sweat." Great phrases, but not so great images! (ha) I think I could out-sweat you. Only within the last 10 years, our school has gotten air-conditioning. Before that (and I taught on the top floor) it was just ceiling fans...and lots of humidity that Missouri is known for.

What I experienced was "down-the-crack creek." The sweat would head down between my two cheeks and create a pool, which in turn soaked into my underwear. It was delightful to have to yank down wet underwear every time I went to the bathroom.

Josh Hoyt said...

Wow the imagery is well humm hmmmmm not sure .... interesting:) I sure miss the great images that you place before me as I read your blog. Sorry it has been so long I have been stressed and all that plus my own how did you put it oh yeah water cycle donor has increased since the heat has finally made it to our neck of the woods. Anyways I digress well maybe not now I'm really confused and just rambling....

Val Thevictorian said...

Sioux,
Okay, you win the sweat-off. I used to teach in Steelville, in the old building across from what used to be a grocery store, right by the railroad tracks. No air conditioning. Second floor, windows facing west, overlooking the tarpaper roof of the gym. We were allowed to bring our own window air conditioners. I spent a pretty penny on one to try and cool my double-size science classroom. WITH the air conditioning, the temperature was 98 degrees. It must have been the 35 students per class that heated up the room.

I don't know how people expect kids to learn anything in those conditions. I'm hoping the school has air conditioning now.

***************************

Josh,
Glad to hear from you. I saw that you had been posting again. Hope your vacation went well.