Letters of a Waste Business Man

Image via ChazWags on flickr.

Dear Fred,

I want you to know I applied for my waste conveyance permit today. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my application via the posts.

 

Yours in work and in life—

Ed


Hello Freddy,

I have loose socks. Please send your rubber bands. That way I can walk out this door in some dignity. I still got places to go yet and it would be a shame if some lousy socks stopped me in my track.

Oh one other thing. I stuck my bare hand down a well and felt the cool damp air. Pleasant.

All right Chip and like I said “cheers”—

 

Ed


Hi Freddy,

How about some shrimp? Do you like some? I found a place on Bunker Hill that will give you a nice crowded skewer of the crustacean char-grilled and dusted with salt and lemon powder. Maybe even a little dried parsley is on there too.

To say the least I am a fan. These shrimps are as delicious as something out of your Hong Kong or Madagascar. Palatial stuff. Some of them the size of blimps I tell you. Plump fat and glistening as a Tucson sunset in November.

That’s what’s happening Freddy. That and I sold my gold tooth to a buyer operating out of the Hotel Hayward on Spring Street. So let’s just say I’m having a good day and I’m rich.

I’m full as Indiana burlap and that is the absolute King’s truth.

 

Regards,

Ed


Fred,

Momentous. I received my permit. Now I am equipped, attached to my own industrial serial number, and there you have it. 90023-457-89-2. I’m not fooling around when I tell you this is big business dear Fred. I could convey any thing—spoiled fruit pulp, rusted play ground equipment, big hazardous syringes, worn out shoe horns, threadbare ear muffs, passé slot machines, unwound baseballs, and emptied paint cans. Pots and pans and kettles are no big deal what so ever. In dreams begin responsibilities Fred and what’s terrific is it’s not a dream any more. I am a licensed carrier on the make.

 

Goodbye,

Ed


Fred:

Today I went and bought my uniform at the army and navy on Cashio Street and Orange Grove Avenue. Just a gray cotton jump suit with a white canvas belt to tie it all together. For my head I’m using the old Brooklyn Dodgers cap passed along the family line. I am calling the business “B. Waste Solution.”

I wear the permit upon a good strong rope around my neck and it hangs over my upper gut so it is visible to all. There is no lingering question of my credentials this way. No way in hell does somebody think I’m a junk man. I work for the nation.

 

Ed


Fred,

Dropped a case of shaving powder containers upon my right foot yesterday afternoon. I feel the pain and would like to wrap the poor baby in cotton.

It was some Beverly Hills pharmacy that called on me to make the pick-up from their alley way. I was carrying the thing over to a waste bin in the municipal parking lots over by City Hall as per the pharmacy’s request when I don’t know how the box slipped out my hands and landed right there on my fat old toe.

I’m day to day Freddy. I’ll just rest the thing—keep it elevated.

 

Keep Beverly Hills clean—

Ed


Dear Freddy,

I think from now on I shall wear a good red bandana over my face to keep the hazards of the job from entering my body via nostril and mouth. I may look like a crook of the olden west but any body knows that I’m not. All they have to do is see my license hung from my neck to know that all is good and decent about my purpose and degree. What you see is what you get and that’s a statement applicable herein.

Right, I should also get a pair of gloves to protect these hands.

 

Right on,

Ed


Fred,

So I took my advice and picked up a pair of batting gloves from the Big 5 shop. Franklin is the maker. This is what the fellows in the Major Leagues use. The salesman tried to sell me on a catcher’s shin and chest guards too but I wasn’t having it. I’m not a schmuck Freddy. So now I have all the protection that I need. I am already so vastly more efficient. Removed a bunch of pipes from a wall in Van Nuys and threw them at the mountains all in one smooth movement.

Grab and toss—it’s all in the arch.

 

Ed


Fred,

Yea, I have been accosted by an ape. Just walking through Santa Monica, around Idaho amongst the college-named streets, and out of the bushes by some bungalows leaps a rotund three foot long ape. Just jumps on my back and kicks the spine as if to spur me along, as if I am his hackney you know. I tried to swat him off but after a few tries I determined this to be a futile game and that I may as well take the fellow where he needs to go.

So where does he direct me but a bar over on Montana Avenue. The ape smacks the counter screeching as he points to the shelf of vodkas. He holds up all five fingers and without a second thought the bartender pours out five shots of the good Polish stuff. We all three of us drank to that and then the ape proceeded to down the remaining two glasses himself. Basic mathematics. Next he wobbled into the men’s room and that’s the last I saw of him. I ran out that place quick and hid out the remains of the afternoon in a barbershop where I had a shave and a crew cut. Well I’ll admit it they trimmed my nostrils too.

 

Ed


Hi,

Let’s cut to the chase Freddy. Today I had a date. So what. A cute notary public with a long flat bottom and no eye brows. I met her in the Grand Central Market. We got some bowls of wonton soup and then took a little room in the Drummond’s Hostelry.

I bought her a nice big sun hat at the end of the affair off some pole in an alley and wished her good luck. She wished me the same.

I shall bathe in charcoal and chlorine now. I shall find a spa and do that.

 

Ed


Hello Freddy,

I am watching the ball game in the dark. I mean I am sitting in my pantry with the lights out and the radio on. This is our Dodgers versus the Marlins and we have our ace on the mound. A noon time start eastern standard time and that’s breakfast time here. I happen to be drinking my morning meal straight from the nozzle of the keg and I am satisfied. That’s right I’m hiding out now let me listen in peace.

You might say it’s always the baseball season with me. You’re absolutely right. I dwell on the good planet where the grass is always green.

This ale tastes like paint. Maybe that it is.

 

Cheers,

Ed


Hello Pal,

Another day off. And what a pleasure. I watched the dolphins skip along the coast all afternoon from a perch in the Pacific Palisades. What fine mammals they are.

Walking off I met a kindly retired foot surgeon. He told me you had better see hammer head sharks go swimming, that it’s truly something. I said I bet it is but I’m by no means let down by those dolphins. He said indeed – he loves the dolphins and only believes I would appreciate the hammer heads too.

Good day Freddy.

 

Ed


Freddy,

First the ape and now this. You see I’m coming along Berkeley Street pushing a shopping cart full of tin foil and twisted old curtain rods when a man comes running towards me wielding a cherry red Fender Stratocaster. He wanted to stab me in the belly with it judging by how he had the thing aimed so proper.

I’m safe though. He halted right in front of me and said he got the instrument at a great bargain from a dumb young man doing a garage sale over on Stanford Street. He said the fool didn’t know a rare vintage instrument when he had one.

But leave each man inside his own conception I say. Who’s been hustled is never so simple as it seems, especially to the excited buyer. I know our old man said something to that effect and don’t you think I’ve forgotten his business maxims.

Well I’m sort of shaken by the run in and must calm down with a bagel and butter. A guitar is a sharp thing. Beware and goodbye.

 

Ed


Freddy,

I’m afraid I ingested some WD-40 solution. Was just innocently spraying those curtain rods when I pointed the can in the wrong way and got a considerable mist up on the mouth and down the throat. This stuff’s really kicking me in the butt. I mean I’m knocked out.

 

Ed


Freddy,

Two fried eggs covered in soy sauce. You take that with a shot of whiskey and you have yourself a new gentleman. I feel like my regular old Yankee again. No need to call poison control my friends.

The wind is up and the night is new Freddy. I dedicate my life to you. I’m going out with the cart through Beverly Hills now. Going to pick up some hub caps and cracked fan blades. Maybe a couple scuttles too. Antique ones just laying flat on the curbs like copper-mummified eagles. Standard issue in these parts. You wouldn’t believe.

I can feel it in the cool of the evening, unfurled all the way. Luck—

 

Ed


Fred,

It has come to my attention that I came down about a foot. I mean I’ve shrunk Freddy. A flat out miniature man. I took out the tape measurer and read it fine and clear, 4 foot and 10 inches on the mark.

I feel I am the same height as ever but there’s no disputing the facts you read on a device. I don’t always believe that either but today I do. Yes today I have faith in the power of technology to take us once again into a new year of smaller men with bigger brains and better waffles with less fat.

 

Amen.

Ed


Hello Freddy,

This afternoon I wanted an old hamburger and boy did I get one at the Irish diner.

I don’t know what came over me but I asked for their oldest ground round from the way back ends of the freezer. Cook it well done I said. And give it to me New York style without all the onions on an extra toast bun. Side of the iced orange juice. Very fine. I’ll be digesting this baby many moons Freddy. I am grateful.

If somebody told me it’s Rosh Hashanah today I sure would believe them. As a matter of fact I am going out of this diner at once and find a shofar to be blown in my face.

What else I should like to walk to the edge of the earth one of these days and fart out my entire spleen. It shouldn’t come easy. But someday Freddy. Someday I shall stand upon that final bridge and pay my respects. Until then all I can do is stay warm and prosper.

 

Ed


Hi Fred,

Sorry it’s been a while. When not in the field I been keeping my old head buried in waste manuals. Business is growing and we are good.

Then today I looked out my so-called window and thought I saw you there, but it turned out to be a bellboy getting hit by a car. So I’m glad it wasn’t you. The scare sent me to the desk and write to say hey there take care of yourself O.K. buddy?

On another note I found this old letter I must have meant to send you ages ago. I do not recall any of the events described therein. I only discovered it in my duffel bag this morning. It says:

 

Dear Fred,

New Haven is very fine. Yes I do like it. Let me tell you the food all tastes great and the cigarettes are free. What does a fellow need to do to get himself out for some nature? He just takes a walk like I’m about to do. Now I’m no professor but I like it and I only been here ten minutes or so.

 

Ed

 

Like I said I don’t recall that pit stop. I can only surmise I missed my connection to the Boston trains and had a surprise opportunity to explore the town. Yes this must have been from the days of your brief tenure as a life insurance agent on Boylston Street, when I came out to pay you a visit. We did have some good pints of breakfast chowder back then didn’t we.

Well, hot day and a big job over in Reseda so I’ll be going.

 

Signed,

Ed

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