Saturday, March 05, 2011

Mystery of the Missing Arco Pool Brush


Art by Steve Stein


Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ---Mudhead

by James Jarvis
from My Arcology

  They've been working me literally day and night over at the Arco these last few days: six or seven hours during the day as the stockboy, pole painter and sign hanger and eight hours a night as the graveyard shift clerk/soda stocker.

   The average person runs on a 90 minute sleep cycle, from shallow sleep into deeper sleep and back into shallow sleep. As long as I get just one full 90 minute sleep cycle in, I'm good for another seven or eight hours of work.

    Friday, I got off work around 6 in the evening and was scheduled to be back to work that night at ten. It takes me a couple of hours after work to wind down. Humping cases of beer in a freezer will wind a person up. Plus my roommate saves up his schitzophrenic observations on the human condition all day while I'm at work and spews them out on me when I return 'home'.  It takes a while to clear THAT crap out of my head, too.

    I finally got to sleep around 7:30 Friday night. While I was still in the shallow-going-deeper stage of sleep, Kimmee from the Arco called. She wanted to know where the Arco pool brush was. Eddie the Peruvian bigamist was over at the Arco getting ready to wash the gas islands and he couldn't find it, so he called her and she called me.

    ---Excuse me a minute, as I was typing this, my roommate came storming out of his room ranting and raving about crooked-assed politicians in Utah and saying his room was on fire.---
    Okay, where was I? Uh....

    So Kimmee called me about the missing Arco pool brush. If there's anything missing, check the lowest member of the Arco team: the stockboy. I told Kimmee I had no idea where the Arco pool brush might be and tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't. I like Kimmee, but she shouldn't have called me during what she must have known was my only opportunity to sleep before my graveyard shift . . . especially concerning something as trivial as the Arco pool brush. The thing didn't work very well on the gas pump islands anyway.

    Motel Marquis has a swimming pool, but the gate to the fence around it is kept locked 24 hours a day, all year long. We have a saying at Motel Marquis: Pool brushes? We don't need no stinkin' pool brushes!

    I couldn't get back to sleep after the pool brush inquiry, so I fired up my laptop and emailed Kimmee the following:

    "I can't believe you called me in the middle of my night to ask about a silly brush, but you must've needed it bad, bad, bad. Okay, I'll look for it tonight and give you a call at . . .oh . . . say 3:30 in the morning and let you know if I found it or not. I think the thing is either in the dumpster, in the mechanic's section or between Eddie's girlfriend's legs. I hope Gaylon doesn't have to declare bankruptcy over this broom thing."

    Gaylon is the Arco owner. So after I emailed Kimmee my snotty little email (sorry Kimmee, you knew I was a hothead when you hired me) I still wasn't satisfied that this pool brush issue was settled. I pulled on my old jeans and stomped over to the Arco, determined to give whomever was over there behind the counter a piece of my mind concerning pool brushes and phone calls.

    It was Serj working the store by himself by the time I got over there. Eddie was off hiding somewhere. I pulled my hair a little bit and explained to Serj that we don't need no stinkin' pool brushes at Motel Marquis and came back home satisfied that my position on missing janitorial equipment had been made clear.

    Fast forward to Saturday afternoon after I had worked the 8 hour graveyard shift until 6 Satuurday morning, gone home and gotten one sleep cycle in and then returned Saturday morning to paint Arco poles and stock shelves. Eddie pops his head into the cooler where I was humping mightily the beer cases onto the display shelf and asks:

    "James, where is the (pool brush) ?"

    Gaylon drove up to the outside railroad car container beer storage area where I was humping cases onto a dolly and got an earful about his missing pool brush. I explained to him that we don't need no stinkin' pool brushes at the Motel Marquis and that I was getting pretty tired of the missing pool brush investigation.
Next thing I know, I look up from my beer cases and see Gaylon and Eddie trying to clean the Arco driveway with the pressurized steam cleaner (alternative mechanical back-up device for the Arco pool brush.

    That's right, I grumbled to myself, y'all keep your missing pool brushes to yourself.

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