“I’ve never seen a lazier-bunch of sons-of-bitches than the guys who want to strike,” Pete said.

“What’s the matter? You pay your dues.”

“Kinda have to. If you don’t, then they send around that short-bald guy with the big glasses. He’ll ask you why you haven’t, and if you tell ‘im why, you’ll get the ax faster than the rooster who humped too many hens.”

“Why do you care whether or not you’re part of the union? It’s only a couple extra bucks, and job security, if you can put-up with the job.”

“You said it, brother. Maybe I have to find something to disagree with so I can tolerate the rules and regulations. It’s unnatural to take orders from an ignorant sadist. That English bastard has a dull face, mispronounces his syllables, and I get the feeling that he thinks he’s better than me.”

“That’s just his accent. All Englishmen sound smarter than they really are.”

“You got that right! He doesn’t even celebrate the Fourth of July!”

“He’s an Englishman, Pete.”

“Sure, but he doesn’t have to be a sore loser. He didn’t even appreciate the Black Cats I lit-off in the breakroom last week.”

“That’s because you did it while he was eating his lunch. He bit his tongue, and nearly filled his pants.”

“Yeah, he can’t take a joke. He asked me what I was doing for the 4th, and I told ‘im I was sacrificing an Englishman. I think that busted us to Zone 7.”

“What would I do without you, Pete?”

“You’d be doing a whole lot better, that’s for sure.”

“Well, it’s nice to hear you admit it.”

Pete parked his truck and they got out.

Waste Away and Green Clean Recycling was a gray and green building, non-descript, and buzzing with drones, who couldn’t wait to leave the hive.

Once you got your assignment and left, you were free for five hours. If you didn’t finish the zone quickly enough, you could spend all day negotiating traffic with assholes who would call the number on the back of your truck and complain about your driving.

The trick was not to get stuck with Zone 7. She was the Queen of Spades. It was a gang-land full of pipe-bombs in trash cans, connected to fishing line, so when you pulled the lid, you might lose half your face. It had the most German Shepherds who were more protective of the trash than the mail. It wasn’t uncommon for bodies to be buried under fish heads and coffee. If you hurled the trash into the compactor, you could be an accessory to murder. To make matters worse, the wives of Zone 7 were insane, and off their medication. They liked garbagemen more than mailmen and their husbands got jealous.

To be continued…

3 thoughts on “Sentenced to Zone 7

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