Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sub - Basement

In Warwick Castle in England is a fully equipped dungeon. Located in an underground area, it has several rooms. One room contains an oblitorium, a small (about 1 cubic meter) chamber in the floor, wherein particularly dangerous or threatening enemies of the Lord were placed, and 'forgotten' about.
In downtown Minneapolis is a large department store, a relic of retailing's past. Two floors below street level is the sub-basement, where merchandise is received (via a large chute from street level) and processed, then sent to the appropriate floor (or other store). This is where I misspent many a youthful hour, working for the 'man'. I suffered the usual degradations and insults from my 'superiors' all for the express purpose of making money for someone else. Lord knows that my $1.40 an hour wasn't going to amount to anything. But I persevered, earning the title "working supervisor" (still at $1.40 an hour) and getting some of my friends jobs in the same sunless cavern. One of my younger protogés was Sensitive Boy, a good worker. Then I made the mistake of hiring my old friend A____. He was a cut-up, a rabble-rouser and general misfit. Production declined. I noticed A____ having surreptitious conversations with Sensitive Boy. The topper came one day, I had been in a 'meeting' (getting chewed out) and upon returning to the work area I noticed a bit of graffiti, in Sensitive Boys hand: "Batty is a slavedriver!" I was the torturer, this was the oblitorium!
My spirit broken, my authority undermined, my days in this lower circle of hell were numbered.
I left that job for an even worse job, in a police property room - with rotating shifts, handling bloody evidence and dangerous weapons, and hardened criminals as customers - but it was above ground and I did have a window.

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Lionel Serra said...

really enjoyed it. Thanks!

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