Monday, August 13, 2007

I've been working in the vineyard

All the live long day! Today, I was on the bottling line. Like global warming and bird flu, it's not as interesting as it sounds. The bottles (empty, unlabelled, grubby) get put on a sterilising thing with many nozzles (reminds me of a sort of reverse milking machine, without the cow) by Doug. Today Doug told me that working on the bottling line reminds him or what working on a submarine would be like, had he ever worked on one. What he was trying to convey, besides the fact that he needs to get out more, was that, like a submarine, the bottling line is a small space full of temperamental people and equally temperamental machinery. Also on both a submarine and a bottling line, your fuckup under pressure becomes everyone else's fuckup under pressure. Pressure, pressure, pressure! I miss my cutting up sticks. Then you could go slowly, and go to the bathroom when you needed to (can't leave the bottling line as machinery will do something.)

What, I hear you ask, what exactly do you DO on the bottling line? I was getting to that. When the bottles come out of the milking sterilising machine where they have been put by Doug who is not a submariner, they get passed along a conveyor belt to Lois, who puts them on a machine that picks them up and fills them with wine. Mostly. Sometimes it drops them and sometimes it fills the air next to them with wine. At the moment, the wine we're bottling is ice wine, which is made out of frozen grapes or something equally silly and gets put into dinky little dessert wine bottles. Which are too small to make the journey down the Great Conveyor Belt (between Doug and Lois) on their own. They fall over. Backwards. Unless someone is there pushing them along and making sure that they do not fall backwards.

Guess what I've been doing all day?

While I was standing there in the cold, guiding the bottles gently with my hand and pleading with them not to fall backwards, the scar on the back of my hand started itching, and I knew instantly that the Dark Lord was active I knew it was going to rain (it did, later.) And that started me thinking about old men and their gammy yet meteorologically accurate knees, and I formulated a theory only slightly less ridiculous than Friday's theory about God. You see, way back when, in primitive village society, the gammy old man would sit outside his hut and say "Eee, it's going to RAIN." And then it did. (He could tell because his knee was acting up.) And the rest of the village looked at one another in amazement and said, "How did he KNOW? He must have a direct line to the Weather Gods." And so naturally the old man with the gammy knee became the village wise man, shaman or whatever. And so began the worshipping of the wise man in villages worldwide, and so also began the ancient art of meteorology. Which is why everyone sits, hypnotised, in front of their telly, avidly hanging on every word Toni the TV3 weather lady says. Obviously, she is all-knowing.

Dad has cleaned his desk. He did not clean up anything belonging to me because, as he said, it was all strewn about but maybe it was in order, as one man's order is another man's strew.

Also, I was thinking of starting a company called An Itch in the Damp. I do not know what it would sell or what service it would privde, but the point is that I could start a whole, similarly named range, after A Stab in the Dark. A Poke in the Nose. A Bandaid in the Rubbish Bin. A Pee in the Shower. I was thinking this, in case anyone was wondering, because I had one today. The Itch in the Damp. I believe I have mentioned it already. I also had a Poke in the Nose and a Bandaid in the Rubbish Tin, but I did not have a Pee in the Shower. I did have one, but it was somewhere else. I am rambling, so before my brains fall out my nose I am going to go and drink my coffee upstairs. And watch the weather.

No comments: