Canning

Mondays we can. Rest of the week we’ll janky-up our schedules, the bunch of us cellarmen alternating positions, some of us moonlighting as delivery drivers and salesmen, tenders of lines, others toiling in isolated pockets, one here labeling away while another huffs and puffs cold tons on pallets around the walk-in cooler, somebody sweeping, somebody washing, somebody filling, lotta guys trained on they phones. But Mondays we can, all of us together, for about four and a half straight hours. Once you learn your job, when you’ve refined whatever small mechanical repetition is your job to the level of automatism occupied theretofore by such sophisticated acts as blinking, and walking, well you’ve got time to reflect. Some of us even have time to talk.

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One; aka Wes; spirit animal: “Sancho, the Playful Otter”

Here’s how it works the way we do it: One overlords the canning line, feeding it lids and cans and making sure the entire operation does not unspool into waste, catastrophe and tedium; Another has that most joyless of all tasks, the moving of the finished cans from the ceaselessly outputting tract of the canner to the sixing station (essentially a human extension of the conveyor belt, this miserable soul); and finally Three Splendid Blokes capture all these cold 12oz darlings, pinch them into their plastic harnesses and offload them one case at a time onto the waiting pallet, just so. One mostly contents himself within big sound-muffling headphones that themselves surround a discrete pair of earbuds; Another does so too, dancing a lot and air soloing monster metal riffs whilst conveying, but the Three get to talk. What we talk about is mostly food, until we start going a little crazy. There are essentially three phases of the daylong conversation:

1. Food

2. We’re All Going a Little Crazy

3. Battered into Mindnumbed Silence

Another; aka Chris; spirit animal: "Jerome, the Sickly Panda"

Another; aka Chris; spirit animal: “Jerome, the Needful Panda”

We’ve agreed to start trying to eat something very interesting every weekend so we can talk about it Mondays. Had anyone thought to take dictation, they’d’ve found that we’d written a funny, rambling, essentially open-minded book on child discipline. And we’ve gone pretty deep into identifying our spirit animals and exploring their natures.

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A Splendid Bloke; aka Nate; spirit animal: “Ramon, a Groundhog”

This has just been a little primer for you to follow as you pile into your Mondays, dreaming as you undoubtedly sometimes do of the other paths your life may have taken. What if instead of being me I was the person on the canning line? you might muse. What if things had happened differently, and I canned beer instead of all this lawyering or nursing or what all? Well, for one thing, you would work with this guy…

 A Splendid Bloke; aka Armando; spirit animal: "Pierre, the King Snake"


A Splendid Bloke; aka Armando; spirit animal: “Pierre, the King Snake”

…and on Mondays, you’d can.

So here’s to you, muser! Here’s to all of us that dream!

-D.W.

 

 

 

 

 

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