Sick Journey Into Work


I am going to visit an alternative workplace. It’s farther away than I’m used to. I follow people on bikes, who think runners should give way to their superior machines. I point out that most runners are superior to me and a machine combined.

We fast forward beyond familiar streets. We lose direction, as a colleague asks me what a tool he sees is for. It’s like four giant spades, as a grabber, attached to a crane or lifting arm on a JCB. My guess is hole digging of some kind, but we watch, and it is used to extract old tents clogging up a river.

Ahead the road stops. There’s a vertical drop and it continues, about 3m below. I climb down. An HGV is waiting, a yellow vomit like liquid splashing from its open top as it slowly reverses. I’m covered in it. I’m pissed off that this is the only way to work. My colleague takes a photo. He wants media to work with when we arrive at the new place. We climb aboard the sick truck. We get more sick on us.

Eventually we arrive and dismount. There’s a reception area, and different groups are putting on different radio shows. We’re on first. Al Murray discusses his love of Herodotus over Domitian, and there’s a comedy discussion about it. My contribution is to mispronounce things in a West Country accent. People find it hilarious. I’m aware how loud we are as a group.

We are ushered into a bigger room. In the corridor, I ask where the loo is. I’m directed through a side door. I’m in a film set. I can’t piss here, the toilets probably aren’t plumbed in. I walk around the set. Actors in white suits practice dying scenes from the Tomorrow People. Others, in triple unison, act out physical movements on the grass. I see a lead actor practicing. I tell him how much I admire his work. I appreciate how hard it is to rise and fall again and again, how exhausting is the effort.

We have to use the same set next, so we position props and think about shot angles. We have to keep out of the way of the current group, as they are about to start filming.

There’s a tour of the facility. I see the bus we should’ve arrived on. It is yellow, and sponsored by a company that makes the yellow sick. The logo is a dragon, and underneath a tag line states that it probably contains dead cats and dogs for use in Thai curries.

The tour continues. Books on tractors, tiny buses. I’m told we get these tomorrow, I pick them up now. We pass a book stall. I recognise a comedian on the covers, I recommend him to my colleagues.

I’m helping at a gig. I walk across a beautiful wooden stage, where instruments are being unpacked. The comedian offers me beers. I joke about “what will everyone else drink”. I stay sober. I remember that I have a gig with Dakar Audio Club in about three weeks, I need to learn the bass lines.

🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸🎸

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