Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yo, Yo. A Little More Time Cutting the Weeds Down, and A Little Less Time Smoking It.

Ok, let me break this down into usable parts…

Office: fairly decent. I share it with grad. students some sort of crazy-assed photography device and a shit load of book cases. My prof is a genetic guru for peaches. They have to take pictures of every damn load that comes down the pike. He could learn a thing or two from the art world; a white background for light colored objects = bad resolution. SIGH. Where is Mapplethorpe? Oh yeah he died. Gravitas baby, hold the skull in your hand. I only go here when I am mandated by the females of the 2nd floor or if my counterpart in the lab needs some assistance and I have been avoiding her recently. “Lookit me and at least one worker have already gotten a ticket parking down there, you gonna have to water the greenhouse til I get the farm truck working.”

The farm: where I really work. There is no electricity other than what we generate ourselves with the greatness of Onan. Potable water? I think so. I haven’t gotten the runs yet and nobody on the crew has either. I am brave. Toilet? I can drive you over to the gas station across the way if you gotta take a dump, but otherwise it is water a tree. Girls, bring your own toilet paper or suffer the rough texture of shop towels in a box. Spiders… I should probably mention them… if you have arachnophobia do not come to the farm, stay far away. I think my record for collected specimens is around 20. I even had a collection of webs between my kneecap and boot. WTF? Crab-like Orb Weavers can be picked up if you approach gently and allow them to clasp your finger, then flick them at the nearest available tree. If you grab them on the side then you are liable to get stuck like it was a thorn. Good luck and good mowing to you! Watch for juvenile black widows, their ass-ends have a funny spiral on them.

Meat of the issue: or what I do for a living. I am a minion. I was hired by a prof who needed someone to keep guard on the farm. I have only student workers. I have to train them to operate machinery that can kill them. If I don’t at least scare a fart out of them I haven’t tried hard enough.

“Look dammit, this sonofabitch can plant you in the ground. Imagine laying under the mowing deck holding the hand of your father as he says goodbye as you pass into the next plane.” That is my job. I am a glorified farm worker (Research Assistant). I spray bugs, wrestle iron implements and make a valiant attempt to keep the weeds at bay. My boss has a much more elaborate title. Prunus and Rosa Genetic Specialist. Short answer, he grows lots of peach seedlings and keeps about five out of 50k. And y’all in NY caint have none of them, we eat every single one south of the Red. He even made the Houston Chronicle a while back. He told me one time I didn’t want him working on the machinery because he breaks things. I tend to believe him.

I don’t have quizzes, there is no exam. There is only survival and a paycheck. I lost one already to a better paying gig, I better get used to that. Oh yeah, I lost one to another prof who offered the computer room instead of the dirt. He is the Onliest longhaired boy at Aggieland I have seen and he is Asian.

I think I live in an arcane realm. They aren’t really sure I even exist. They see the work but they are not sure I am really there. I like it that way, f’em, the fewer professors that know I exist the easier my job is to do.

I guess that is about it. You can tell your local Rep and your Senator to send more money. I gotta buy some new blades for the mower deck and I damn sure need to get some more workers. Be sure to wear good shoes, boots are better. If Tiffany shows up out at my farm I will sweat five pounds off her in an afternoon. I send a few to the chiropractor; the weed-eater is a hard taskmaster.