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Vagaway ( Get rid of a vagrant today! )
Vagaway ( Get rid of a vagrant today! )
When I reached the office my secretary told me about the call. It was a big company with branches island wide, but the problem was with their head office in Down Town Port Of Spain.
Vagrants, they had a vagrant problem. Their spacious, well covered doorway offered an ideal crash for the town destitutes. Every morning the cleaner had to be clearing up, washing down and disinfecting. You know the kind of human excrement stench that I’m talking about.
“Well what the hell do they expect us to do about that, I said. Tell them to call the police or a security company or something. That’s not our business!”
“But Mr Jones, they said that they’ve tried all that, they’ve tried everything and no one can help, we’re their last resort, they wondered if we might have some kind of chemical or something that might drive the vagrants away?”
Well now, that raised an eye brow. “No one else could help? Last resort?” Here was a chance to show what we could do!
(The following day at 9 am.)
“Yes Mr Smith, I have just the product for you. Simply sprinkle this powder that I have here in your doorway and I guarantee you that all your vagrant problems will be over.”
Mr Smith viewed the white powder cautiously. “But what is it? How does it work?”
“This, Mr Smith,” I said enthusiastically, “is sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda, or more commonly known as lye. This Mr Smith, is a highly corrosive chemical. Once this gets on those vagrants skin it’ll cause serious burns. Right through the skin, right down to the bone. One encounter with this and you’ll never see them vagabonds again.”
I expectantly awaited Mr Smith’s reaction. It was not as I had anticipated.
Mr Smith’s jaw dropped and his eyes opened wide in horror. “No, no, no, you can’t do that, you can’t hurt them!!!
What? I couldn’t believe it, here was I with a quick, economical solution to the problem and here he was studying ethics for christ’s sake!!
“Look Mr Smith, we’re not actually going to kill them or anything like that, we’re just going to give them a little hint to move along, that’s all. And after all, it’s only blasted vagrants!
“Oh no Mr Jones, you don’t understand, those vagrants have more rights than me or you. If you so much as harm a hair on their head it’s police and court for you. And if the newspapers get a hold of it? Well, it’s big, big headlines about how this big, powerful company is trampling on the nations poor and homeless. And, Mr Jones, when that happens, who do you think’s going to be left holding the stick? ........... Your’s truly.”
Oh great! Here was I thinking that this guy was so altruistic, so concerned about hurting poor innocent, unfortunate, homeless people, when all he really gave a shit about was his own ass.
“Yes Mr Jones, I’m afraid you’ll have to do better than that. You have to give us something that will get rid of the vagrants without actually harming them.”
I went away pretty pissed off. “What the fuck did he expect? Who the fuck did he think I was, God?”
I should have dropped the case right then and there, but as you know I don’t give up so easy. The next day found me back in Mr Smith’s office again.
“This is it Mr Smith, the solution to your problem. After much research and consultation we finally came up with this, ..............sodium metasilicate.”
“Sodim mesatili..silicili...tate? Wha’s ‘at? It’s not dangerous is it? It can’t burn anybody can it?”
“Mr Smith, sodium metasilicate is only moderately alkaline, it will merely cause reddening and itching of the skin, not actually burning.”
His face brightened.
“Yes,” I went on confidently, “this is just what you’re looking for, something to run them without doing them any actual permanent physical damage. I mean they would have to get the stuff in their eyes before it caused any serious injury.”
Well who told me to say that? Me and my fuckin’ mouth!
His jaw dropped and his eyes widened again. “What? Eyes? Serious injury? No, no, no Mr Jones, we discussed this, I told you, no toxic chemicals, no corrosive substances, I told you.”
Well that was it, I’d had enough of that fuckin’ crackpot. Wastin’ people’s fuckin’ time, thinks people have nothin’ better to do! ........ Shit!
Well that should have been the end of that, but it was because it pissed me off so much that it had me lying in bed thinking about it, and thinking about it, and..........wait a minute, that’s it, yes, that’s it. Yes, yes, yes.
“Yes, yes, yes Mr Smith, do I have the product for you. After extensive research and development, the chemists at Icon have came up with the solution to your problem.” I pulled out a small plastic bucket with the label “VAGAWAY ......... Anti Vagrant Powder” on it. Lifting the cover revealed a bright orange powder.
You could see the blood draining from Mr Smith’s face. He took a step back and peered at it over the rim of the bucket.
“Mr Smith, this product is guaranteed to get rid of your vagrants, completely, instantaneously and safely. It is non toxic, non corrosive and environmentally safe.”
Mr Smith watched me suspiciously.
“Would you like me to tell you how it works?”
“No. I don’t want to know what it is or how it works. I just want to know..... No, I just want you to tell me, in front of all these people here that you, the chemical experts say that this thing is safe and won’t cause any damage to anybody.”
The bastard, all he cared about is himself. He didn't give a shit about what happens to other people, as long as it didn't look bad on him. The buck stoped at me.
I gave him the guarantee.
Three days later Mr Smith called me at my office. He was quite excited. “Mr Jones, that thing you gave us, that Vagaway business, well let me tell you, that thing worked like magic. From the first night we used it the vagrants disappeared and they haven’t came back since. Everybody from the cleaning lady to the Managing Director wants to know what kind of thing that is, what kind of chemical could do that?”
“Well Mr Smith, as I said, the Chemists at Icon put a lot of time and brain power into the development of this product. It wasn’t easy, but after days of labour they finally came up with the solution ............ Maracas beach sand.”
There was silence on the phone.
“What do you mean, “Maracas beach sand”?
“Sand, you know, sand, from Maracas beach.”
“What are you talking about? Maracas beach sand? It was bright orange in colour.?”
“Yes Mr Smith, we added some food colouring.”
“But, but, but, ....... but what craziness you talkin’, Maracas beach sand? That wouldn’t do them anything!!!”
“No Mr Smith, it wouldn’t, but they wouldn’t know that, would they?”
“Well Mr Smith, yes it was hard, yes it took time A lot of up and down with samples of this and that, sleepless nights ............ But the main thing is we got through, we accomplished the task, your vagrant problem days are over. And to tell you the truth Mr Smith, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I mean it was an unusual assignment, and it required an unusual solution. So, Mr Smith, as far as payment goes, I don’t really feel like charging you anything like our regular fees. If you just give me say a hundred dollars, to cover our administration costs then we’ll consider the case closed.”
Mr Smith’s jaw dropped and his eyes opened wide in horror. “What!?!?!? A hundred dollars, just for a pound of beach sand!?!?!?!?”
9/1/2005 4:08 am
This is a wonderful story. I'm finding myself drawn to reading your stories as they are all well written and amazing (unbelievably so at times). I just got an offshore job in the oil & gas sector and should be heading on my 1st rig within a week. I'd love to hear some of your stories of life/experiences in that industry?|
Keep up the Great Blog!!
9/1/2005 8:46 am
Glad you like them. I'll tell you some more if you like.|
As far as the "unbelievably so at times" goes. No, unfortunately they are all true.
And unfortunately for you I'm going to give you what you want.
Be careful what you wish for............
9/2/2005 6:28 am
I wish You Bring it, and bring it fast and furious!|