Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I was kind of an asshole really...

...when I yelled at the man standing in the field with a shovel in his hand, standing next to a pile of debris.

"Don't be dumping that crap there!" I had shouted as we ran to the rig,  "I'm calling the sheriff!"

The man had shouted a reply, but as we were getting on the rig, I couldn't hear what he said. We left him there standing next to his nearly empty truck and the pile of debris on the ground.

I had no intention of calling the sheriff, we were on our way to a call. We had been buying tacos at the local stand when the call had come in. The debris in question was in a field located next to the taco stand and was continually being used as a dumping ground. Four dollars a gallon for gas, twelve dollar dump fees and no dump within twenty miles had caused an increase of illegal dumping.

We ended up being committed for several hours. Although the fire wasn't large, the overhaul was. Not only were we on scene for a while, but we had to cover the first-in station for quite some time. It was closer to dinner than lunch when we returned to the taco stand. Most restaurants are pretty good about either holding our food for us when we get a call or tossing it and giving us fresh when we return. This taco stand was no exception.

I had forgotten about the field, the debris and the man with the shovel until we pulled past it as we parked. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the field was completely cleaned up, the weeds, trash and debris were all gone.

"Nice work Schmoe", my engineer chided me. "That guy was here to clean the field up, not dump that stuff off!"

I felt like an asshole. I probably looked like one too. It wasn't the first time, probably not the last either.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Cap,

    You yelled "Don't be dumping that crap there!". If he heard you right, I'm sure he was happy that someone else cared enough to notice what was happening in that field. He probably chalked it up to a misunderstanding, especially with you guys tearing out of there with your lights/siren on.

    Now, if you had yelled "Hey, asshole, get out of here!" then, well, you'd have looked like the asshole.

    You said something spur of the moment with the best of intentions, yet you felt bad because you mistook a good deed for a criminal one. The same inner conscience that prompted you to say something in the first place made you feel bad for yelling at the guy.

    Sometimes it seems like it's more trouble than it's worth to give a shit, but hey, some of us just keep coming back for more.

  2. John - maybe you're right, but I just cant help but feel that he didn't deserve getting yelled at. I however, did deserve getting teased by my crew!

    Thanks for the comment.