mardi 29 juillet 2008

Cheer up soon be dead

A while ago I used to work in a fizzy drinks factory. It was worse than it sounds despite the momentary kudos I got when I told people that "I worked in the pop industry." One of the workers who made up the syrupy gunge that is diluted to make the teeth rotting solution was Dave, a miserable bugger, but no one held it against him. He'd been working in the place for 25 of his 45 years, up at five every day to work for a standstill wage for middle managers who treated him like a shit house rat. I was there in 1992 and took a day off to celebrate what I thought was going to be a historical Labour victory. When I returned the day after the night that wasn't, my line manager couldn't keep his sheer delight to himself and provoked a bit of a set to from which I received a written warning. Syrup Dave had little sympathy. He turned a valve on the liquid sugar line and a thick stream poured into one of the huge syrup tanks "Why are you taking it so seriously lad?" he shouted over the mixer engine. "It's all bollocks. Won't make a fucking difference. You'll see." I blathered something in reply and gloomed off splashing through the pools of spilt water, dye and addatives, to carry on my pointless job of checking whether the foul stuff in the clattering bottles on the line downstairs was fit for human consumption. I opened the door to the stairs and over the din I heard him shout "Cheer up soon be dead."

I took it, at the time, to mean "Look you might as well be cheerful and happy because you know, soon you won't be alive anymore." But years later I realised that what he meant was that "Death will soon get me out of here and so I should be cheerful."