The Tool

The Tool

On  occasion, in life, one meets the irredeemable shithead.

The asshole’s asshole.

The ass-hat who cannot find his better self.

The slack-jawed dip-shit, who is convinced they know a lot more than they do.

The  Tool.

I remember the first time I heard this word used to cast aspersion.

I was 15 and I lied about my age to get a job at the local Taco Bell in Lombard Illinois.

The parking lot was the  preening ground for the last generation of actual greasers; a collection of monosyllabic asswipes who’d dropped out of high school.  The cops ate free at Taco Bell, which, given the amount of trouble in the parking lot, was actually not a bad idea.  They responded quickly and mostly fairly.  You’d have the odd cop-on-greaser beating here and there, but I never minded those.

My manager was a twitchy hillbilly named Bill who had knocked-up his ill tempered 17 year old girlfriend and was preparing to marry her and go as far as he could in the Taco Bell organization.  Bill was an okay guy; a little naive about his job, but basically decent.  For about a hundred and a quarter a week they ran Bill like a fucking sled dog.  The guy worked 60-70 hours a week and on occasion would slip into the walk-in and nap standing up.  I felt bad for the guy.

He also had a collection of delinquent assholes working for him, including me.  We were impossible.  We gave away free food to our friends.  One guy dealt pot out the back door and very often there were feel-up sessions in the place after hours.  Bill was as cool as he could be with us given his job title.  You had to screw up pretty badly to get canned.  He was easygoing most of the time.

One Day a dickhead named Bill Holby came into our midst.  He was a goody two-shoes, D-bag who would rat us out to Roger,  the other manager who was a former marine.  He was a tough Mexican guy who didn’t like us much but let Bill deal with us (the night shift) whom he referred to as “The Animals.”   Bill followed Roger around kissing his ass and brown-nosing every chance he got. Even Roger thought the guy was an asshole.  The worst thing about Bill Holby was that he yukked it up with the cops.  He’d make them special Enchiritos and verbally cup their balls every time they came in.  And once Bill Holby got there, they came in allthe time, because  now the fuckers felt welcome.  Needless to say, we fucking hated Bill Holby.  My friend Z used to  spit hockers in Bill’s burritos when he wasn’t looking and then we would watch this pork-sword take his dinner break with the cops when they came in, acting like one of them.

The worst job in the place was frying taco shells.  One guy would stand there all fucking day frying shells.  It was hot and dirty and you’d get splashed by droplets of 550 degree grease when you dropped the basket in the fryer.  It sucked.  The taco shells got fried six at a time and if you loaded one wrong, they’d be uneven and Roger would make you do it over and over and over.  Needless to say  it was the suck detail at Taco Bell.  We always made sure Bill Holby had to do it, arguing that he was the new guy so, tough shit.  The FNG  (Fucking New Guy)  always got the lousy jobs; that was the way this particular Scrotum Pole worked.

One day asshole was frying and one of the taco shells got loose.  Bill Holby decides to be a hero and save the taco shell.  He  sticks his hand into the deep fryer to attempt retrieval and winds up with one giant 3rd degree burn for a right hand.  At least we acted fast.  He passed out from the pain and we grabbed him and got his hand into a pitcher of iced-water, packing it with ice while he went into shock.  Poor asshole.   Our manager, Bill, watched the ambulance pull away in disbelief.  He said, “The guy put his hand in a deep fryer to save a 3-cent taco shell.  What a TOOL.”  We laughed for a half an hour straight.

This piece is dedicated to that rare hero who could fuck up  a one car funeral.

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