Friday 21 November 2014


I went to another retirement party tonight.

It is nice to see that someone else has managed to get through a lifetime of work and can now hopefully enjoy many years of doing whatever he wishes to do with his time. John has worked hard all of his life, sometimes working two full time jobs and managing six or seven income properties. He pretty much had to, since he insisted on getting married and divorced several times and having five kids to support. He always did his job with a smile and you could count on him to help someone if they needed it. He is a good guy.

We used to call him the “Slum Lord” because of his properties. He didn’t like the nickname very much which made it all the more fun to use. One day he was sitting in a relay box relaxing and having a smoke when one of his ankles was bitten by a spider. I don’t know just how long he was sitting there, but I guess long enough to have pissed off a spider or two. His ankle became swollen and quite painful, causing him to take three days off of work. When he returned, we stopped calling him The Slum Lord.

He was now “Spiderman” or “Spidey” for short. He really hated being called Spiderman. He hated it when we sang the “Spiderman” theme song from the cartoon. He hated it when we put string on his case to look like a spider web. He hated it when one guy drew a cartoon with him shooting a web with a letter attached to a mailbox. Yep, he sure hated it. That’s why we kept escalating the harassment. Fun, fun, fun!

I guess it wasn’t the nicest thing we could have done, but here we are twenty-five years later and he is quite comfortable with his name and we are still laughing. Maybe he has learned that if he ignores us then we will eventually go away.

We all worked at Depot 6 and had a great time. We laughed more than we worked and the cast of characters was a perfect blend of crazy. We would have water fights on hot summer days and our supervisor, Roger would confiscate all of the water guns just like a grade school teacher. Our depot became known as The Zoo, a place that some avoided like the plague and others were drawn to like moths to a flame. I loved The Zoo, we were a perfect fit. When I think back on the good times when I worked, it is Depot 6 that I think of.

Some of the guys and girls were there tonight, a little thicker and a little greyish, but they all still had that twinkle. I kept expecting a water fight to break out or someone to put shoe polish on the door knob. There was laughter and just enough craziness for me to realize that “The Zoo” is still very real.

I hope that Spidey enjoys his retirement and maybe we will run into each other during our travels through the neighbourhood. Maybe not, but we will forever be a couple of animals from “The Zoo”.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear Spidery made it to retirement and he will soon realize it is way better then workings! Just ask a fellow retired Zoo animal. B