|Big ups to these dudes|
It’s hard to believe but this is the seventeenth report to surface from the murky depths of my convoluted memory, covering the recently-completed Reggae on the River, 2016. Every minute that goes by renders each of these questionable documents, that much more unreliable.
That being said, I still have much to prattle on about, primarily because that pesky propane bill insists on my attention, and I get paid the BIG $$ to spew it all out, er, sorry, to document it all. I find it intriguing how much of an incentive needing loot to pay bills is for jump-starting my memory.
Either my memory or my imagination, hard to say with any degree of accuracy.
“It’s My Job”
Having engaged in my quest for coffee, for the first six hours of Friday morning, (Fine, it was only 45 minutes) and having ultimately triumphed by hitting the jackpot and finding lattes-to-go, I ordered up half-a-dozen and continued on my travels.
I tried ordering just one but they didn’t have the 144 ounce cup, so I had to improvise. I also inquired as to intravenous means for efficiency purposes, but was disappointed to find out this was not an option.
Juggling all those 24 ounce cups proved more than I was up for, so I dropped off four of them backstage, one of them ending up in Anthony B’s hands at just the perfect moment. He was so jazzed he insisted on giving me a private show, reeling off six of my requests without missing a beat.
By now you realize that I am once again living out a fantasy undoubtedly planted in my subconscious, by my incessant indulgence of cannabis. Anthony B did not serenade me, at least not in the conventional sense that he actually performed for me.
But that was his voice on the CD, and I was the one playing the CD, so for all intents and purposes (or is that intensive purposes?), I stand firm on my original claim, disregarding the fact that it is blatantly false.
If The Donald can do it, I can do it better.
Higher than the circling egrets up above, I was now ready to face the world, my batteries charged up so much that the distilled water therein was gently burbling in the background. You wouldn’t think that someone who was certifiably manic, would need anything else to propel him along, but that would be wrong.
At least I limit my forays into this area to the lowest end of the speed spectrum, as George Carlin referred to coffee. I tried speed-once-about 35 years ago. Good Buddha knows that once was enough.
I have also experimented with cocaine, but needing a wheelbarrow to haul the amount of money needed to acquire this substance, dampened my enthusiasm early on. Propane before cocaine is my motto.
But I digress.
My own frame of mind considerably elevated by Magic Potion Number Nine, I let my feet do the walking, while I followed them around, careful not to let them get too far ahead of me. It was too early for any of the vendors to be open, except for the spot Casey called Markie’s Place because it was open from 2AM until 9AM, Markie’s best hours.
I headed back to camp for some breakfast of boiled eggs (with salt and pepper), bacon and sliced fresh, homegrown, organic, Ace tomatoes.
Inevitably, as is want to occur, I found it necessary to check the rolodex in my computer-like mind for the nearest port-a-potty. It was a source of pride and comfort that I knew the location of every single one of the 823 (or however many PAP's there are) sanctuaries on the entire site, including the one cleverly concealed up on the side of the hill for the sound-effects crew.
Disclaimer # 47: Ignore that last bit of frippery; to the best of my knowledge there is no sound effects crew and sadly, no concealed port-a-potty.
Sailing along in my own private air balloon, high above the venue, by virtue of the libation I clutched in both hands, I needed to bring the craft down for the intended pit-stop.
Being in the vicinity of the little bank of eight PAP’s behind the Ambassador Lounge, I set course for this option and was surprised when I encountered a crew of two, complete with honey-wagon, giving the facilities their undivided attention.
The two dudes, both big ‘uns, were apparently comfortable in their roles, judging from the dialogue that I encountered. I had paused at the top of the set of steps leading down to the facilities, noting and appreciating what the two sanitation officers were doing.
The first took one glance at me, turned to his partner and bellowed, “Now that’s the way you should dress for ROTR!”
[Duly recorded: The first documented case in my 63 years of living, that I was in “style…”]
I was in brown shorts (with the single splash of forrest-green paint from painting the newly constructed tables for Melody’s kitchen) and yellow Humboldt tank-top, rocking my perpetual sandals.
“HAPPY REGGAE!” I bellowed, and followed it with, “BIG UPS! You guys rock! Things are so much better this year than they have EVER been before.”
[Note the grizzled veteran of two ROTR’s, sagely commenting on that which he knows little about.]
The reality was that in the four days I was at the festival, I never once entered one of the little boxes and got grossed out. Not once. They smelled as though they had just been cleaned and people responded accordingly. I was at least accurate in that things were infinitely better this year, than last year.
I am not unrealistic enough to think that no disrespect occurred; I saw at least one of the bathrooms yellow-taped up.
Beaming, one of them said, “There are twelve thousand of you here, and we clean all of the PAP’s three times a day!”
“Dude, you guys rock!” I meant it. “The whole venue is so much cleaner, what with the metal cups and all, and I saw a crew emptying the trash and recycling bins in the middle of New Kingston’s set, last night. That shit’s sick!”
I turned to the closest door and went on in. Seconds later I heard another patron ask if the bathrooms were ready, and one of the crew said, “Absolutely!”
However, when the dude pulled open a door a couple down from me, the worker dude suddenly yelled, “Oh, sorry, guy, that one’s out-of-order.”
He paused for effect. “The flusher’s broke,” and he convulsed in laughter at his own wit.
I was laughing so hard I was in danger of-STOP!
Bathroom humor. Gotta love it.
“He said, ‘It’s my job to be cleaning up this mess,
And that’s enough reason to go for me.
It’s my job to be better than the rest,
And that makes the day for me.’”
Like the street sweeper that Jimmy Buffett sings about, these guys derived satisfaction from knowing that their work was necessary and noticed. The vibe is so prevalent here on the Eel River, it even extends to the most demeaning of jobs.
The two of them beamed and why not? They had a sh***y job and they did it with grace and aplomb.
It just goes to show that if one can retain one’s dignity, even in the most undignified of professions, then one can truly soar higher than the circling egrets above.
Tomorrow: More big ups