"That was the end of the family," Todd said later on, "poofs adopting kids. I don't care if they say times are changing, I just think it's fucking wrong. That's when the world went to shit, nuclear bombs and gays getting right. They're equal? Fuck that."
Later on, Todd and I were sitting outside eating lunch and we saw two homeless people talking to one another, lying around in the shade of the trees in the war memorial garden, "Man, if I were in fucking charge, I'd round these cunts up and kill the lot of them. Shoot the bleeding ass of society." Just then, a hot girl walks by - short, black skirt, black top, white stilettos. She had just been dropped off from a car with what we assumed was her boyfriend. We both admired for a few moments when Todd says, "Yeah, she's hot, but she was just dropped off by a greasy Leb. She's just a baby and he was probably in and out of that all weekend," I sat silently, "the Cronulla riots were our one chance to take the country back from those Lebs. I wish I'd done more."
"What's the difference between a Jew and a pizza?" Matt asked as we sat around at lunch telling jokes, "A pizza doesn't scream when you put it in the oven." There are various gasps and shocked laughter. Dan looks confused and looks over at us, "I don't get it man - what's a Jew?"
"You're not serious, man?" Chris says, looking at him. Dan shrugs.
"That is!" Matt says, pointing at me. I smile awkwardly. Dan still doesn't quite get it.
"Those blokes who wear them tiny hats, man," Chris says, positioning his hand at the back of his head like a kippah.
"Aw, yeah," Dan says, "and why do they wear that again?"
"It's a religion thing, man," Chris says, "like, you got Christians and Muslims, and there's Jews." Dan slowly nods and drags on his cigarette. I'm too afraid to ask if he knows about the Holocaust because I know the answer will be no. As we walk back inside to work, Matt turns to me and says, "Those Muslims, man, they should keep their religion to themselves. If Islam really is just for Arabs, then they can keep it. Stop putting planes in fucking World Trade Centres and trying to take over the world." I just keep on walking.
"Hey, Nike," Nick yelled from across the room, but I didn't look up until he shouted again, "Nike!" I looked up, making a "who, me?" face. He nods and says, "Get it, like Air Jordans, Nike."
"Yeah," I said, "Just do it." Nick laughed, "Ha ha, FUCK yeah! Just do it, man!"
Another funny story about Nick. At one point, Nick walks into work, not just hung-over but still drunk, and with a giant black eye spread over his right eye socket, "Fucking nice shiner you got there, man!" Todd yelled, slapping him on the back.
"Not too hard, man. Johnny Walker is still partying in my body! Still fucking going!" When I asked, he joked saying he'd gotten into a brawl outside a bar on the main drag in the city, "Defending the streets from riff raff and that lot, eh!" He smiled broadly. But the true story was that his smart mouth had gotten him that eye. He had been drinking with our boss, Shawn, his wife and some of the boys from work. At one point, after some folk had left, Nick had clearly said something to enrage Shawn's wife and she had socked him. And she surely didn't miss. Not only was it quite the black eye, but there was also a shallow cut just below the bruising. What a right hook that woman had.
Here's another funny thing about Nick. Whenever we would sit outside, usually to eat, Nick would spend most of his time half suspended over the edge of the building. Let me clarify. Even while he was eating, Nick would rush to the edge of the balcony, half his body over the side, his legs off the ground, if he had seen a nice pair of "watermelons" or a "hot thing" in a miniskirt. Besides this admirable trait, Nick also had a dirty, dark mind. He owned - and watched - DVDs of people actually dying by all sorts of misfortune, "We're all born and we all die." he said, taking a drag from his cigarette as he squinted in the glare of the overcast day.
"Yeah, we all die, but those are fucking unnatural causes." Matt would say. Nick would just squint and blow smoke, turning back over to the balcony and another girl he'd never know would walk by, "I'd give a million bucks just to smell her farts." He'd say, giggling and with a wry smile. But, although he smiled, there was a tiredness in his eyes from weeks of getting up at four a.m. and driving two hours each way to work, "It's a fucking unnatural hour to wake up, four a.m." he sighed, and there was a distinct sadness, "My boy is fourteen now," he was thirty-two, "and I wish the drinking age was twenty-one, just so my boy won't do like I do..."
"And he just looked at me, like cleaning the bathrooms was women's work. I looked at him and wanted to just say, 'Boy, I will smack you'!" the building manager said in his Dr. Phil Texan accent as the elevator doors closed on Shawn and I. Funny thing, that building manager. He was a massive asshole. And I mean colossal. He was a short man on a power trip. At one point, he tried shooing along a hobo in the memorial gardens which are not even part of the building's grounds. Now, the hobo, he didn't take too kindly to this. He showed this by socking the manager in the face. Again. And again. Two of our guys had to pull the hobo off before he would stop. They called the cops and took the guy away. Probably better in prison than on the street - roof over your head and three square meals, but anyway. The building manager, he'd probably never even been hit before, so he was shaken. We saw him come in, split lip that needed stitches and a huge, stretching blood bruise down his chin. Most of the boys laughed when they heard. Hell, even I did. The guy had it coming. Karmic retribution or something. Just didn't see it coming so randomly.