Beating Odds

Reminiscing on our indestructible days.
The party never seemed to end,
We donkey-punched the night away.

You read about it every week, more often if you frequent roadie forums:
”Roadie dies”.

They fall, they get crushed, they get hit in the head, they get impaled. And if I had one, I’d raise my glass every time I heard. Another one bites the dust, silently, behind the smoke screen, and the masses will never know.

Sin after sin,
Some risky business my friend.
Fortune seemed to favor us,
Round every dark and twisted bend.

I’ve seen people dance on the faded blood stain of a rigger. I’ve seen people get caught, get injured, get rushed off to the hospital. It’s nothing to boast about, but it happens and it shapes my attitude towards the job.

I have a taste for the theatrical, and I like to compare the work floor to a war zone. I am aware It’s a long stretch, and I’m sure if I were to start talking like this in catering, I’d get ridiculed until the day I’m the only one left from the original crew. Again.

This glass I raise is heavy,
Heavy as my heart this day.
The Reaper slipped right past us,
Bastard stole your breath away.

The work floor is a war zone, and we are its soldiers. The inexperienced fall like flies, while the old hands look out for each other, learn to watch each other’s back as well as our own. We learn where to be, at which moment, so that we aren’t caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. With each experience, we increase our chances, so that we manage to escape the odds and gain some lead to the statistics chasing us.

The Reaper slipped right past us,
Bastard stole your breath away.

So yes, I get upset and angry, when some tit around me sets me back in that race. They can’t help it if they’re new, and I don’t mind looking out, so that they won’t be next getting into an accident. By now, I am experienced enough to keep an eye on them and get myself out of harm’s way if -when- that happens.

We raise our heavy glass to you in our indestructible days,
May heavens call to you,
May stars align and light your way.

But god damn it, if some idiot walks in thinking he is entitled to some privilege because of his connection to some boss, or her possession of tits (her words, not mine), don’t expect any sympathy from me. Yes, it’s a fun and often easy job, but when shit hits the fan, we stand strong and the weak get weeded out. And if you think it is a cakewalk, here’s a newsflash: By injury or exhaustion, you will be one of them. And if -when- that happens, make sure it happens far away from me, because I have no intention of getting my name in the roadie forums.

UpthewallFarewell dear friend,
Fare thee well dear brother.

People die on the job and you will respect that. You will respect the danger and the hard work we put in. You will climb the ladder from the bottom up, learning each of the numerous skills we’ve acquired over the years, so that we can guide you and minimize harm brought onto yourself, but more importantly, the people around you, who can’t help your incompetence.

A sad and joyful toast to you,
Heavy is my heart this day.
Once more into the breach dear friend,
Donkey-punch the night away.

Just like in war, the worst outcome hides in the smallest corners. If a colleague spends more time daydreaming than focusing on the 1,000-kilo piece hanging from a crane right above his head, he’s better off masturbating in the bathroom to get it out of his system. If some new chick thinks she is entitled to more work than us because she managed to entertain the client with her tits (her words, not mine), she shouldn’t expect much sympathy from me when she is taken to the hospital. Although of course, if I had seen it coming, I would have given her a hand.

Once more into the breach dear friend,
Donkey-punch the night away.

Every death should serve as a strong warning, lest it was in vain. Disrespecting the danger in our job is an insult to those who didn’t, but died anyway. We should look out for each other and work as a team so that any avoidable accident, is avoided. So stand attention and get your head out of the clouds, and we’ll get along just fine. Maybe even crack a joke or two while dodging steel.

Here’s to you, and here’s to those behind the smoke screen. Lest we forget.

Farewell dear friend,
Fare thee well dear brother.

Puscifer – Dear Brother


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