Poem of the Day: Big Fat Bob’s Dirty Printer

Big Fat Bob’s Dirty Printer

I was leaning just a bit
On the bar
It was another slow day at the restaurant
Five of us on, with only one customer
And he was just reading the newspaper,
Sipping coffee slowly

I laughed more at this job
Than when I wasn’t working
That’s rare
A lot of good friends there
That I still have to this day

I was leaning just a bit
When Bob
Our big fat and dumb manager said,
“Okay people, act like your working.
McWane go clean the printers”.
And I did.

I asked Maliek
Our always smiling bartender
For some q-tips
And began cleaning out the reseat printers
I took pride in the job
Scooping out long hairs
Dirt balls
Grease and grime
I was good
I even folded a piece of paper to a fine point,
To get at the little corners
Where the q-tips couldn’t reach
Hunched over, with my tongue out
I cleaned all six printers to perfection
They were spotless
It took me almost two hours,
Which works out to be just about
$3.50 total, by a waiter’s wages

I tossed the dirty q-tips in the garbage
And walked the restaurant up and down
With a new bouncy air about myself
I felt talented
I felt like no one else in the world could have
Done better
I felt that Bob must have known
I was the best man for the job

I went back to the bar
And leaned just a bit
There and then it hit me

‘Oh my God
What have I become?
How could I have let a big fat and dumb lout like Bob make me
Feel this much pride from cleaning damn printers?
I shouldn’t feel this way
I have to get out of here
I have to be better then this
I can’t spend my productive years
As a modern day slave
I have to try and help myself, do things to better my life
No matter how small or silly those things might seem
I am not someone’s $2.00 and hour
‘Printer Cleaner’
I’m not!’

I quit that job
And have been free ever since
Even had the time to write this book

Poem from The Gypsy Mile available on Interpunk.com

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