Today is #3 in a series of 5 daily 5′s. For each day this week, I will publish a list of 5 less-than-serious things that I been a part of my Peace Corps experience. Today we recognize the un-recognized heroes.
I respect hard work. You may have a crappy, thankless job with paltry pay. But if you do said work with passion and determination, it’s hard for me to find fault with you.
I also admire dependability. After spending two years surrounded by products of…let’s call it a marginal reliability quotient…I appreciate things that don’t fall apart.
This post is dedicated to five things that have gone the long haul. Inanimate objects though they may be, these guys never quit. They never died, or broke , or fell into thousands of little unidentifiable pieces. No these troopers did their jobs and saw us through. And for all their toil, never did they receive the credit that they deserve. It is time that the true laborers get their ‘kiss on the cheek’:
How long has it been since you told him
you loved him, held his wide shoulders,
opened your eyes wide and said those words,
and maybe kissed his cheek? You’ve never
done something so simple, so obvious,
not because you’re too young or too dumb,
not because you’re jealous or even mean
or incapable of crying in
the presence of another man, no,
just because you don’t know what work is.
— from “You Don’t Know What Work Is” by Phillip Levine
Beer Can Toaster
Beer Can Toaster, from the day of your conception you have never failed to make my bread warm and crusty. Though your beer cans be blackened and your wires twisted and rusted, you continue to singe, crisp, and ready that sole food which marks me as an American. But your prowess is not limited to bread alone. Tortillas, naan, vegetables, and all variations of Thai treats have graced your metal ringed shelf. And yet never a complaint have you made. Thank you, rusty friend.
Water Bottle Filler
Water Bottle Filler, you routinely have a 25 pound water jug thrown upon you. But still you have a soul forgiving enough to help make refilling my glass but a simple dream. With one swift pull, you give birth to whatever amount of that sacred cocktail of hydrogen and oxygen I please, from a tender rivulet, to a gushing deluge. And after seeing countless other volunteers struggle with uncooperative bulky bottles (and alas, no one nor contraption to help) I need to make clear how much I appreciate your reliability. Thank you, my metal mate.
Giant Wok, there have been many a day wherein you’ve labored every meal of the day. Morning, noon, and night, you were forced over intense heat, slathered in smoking oil, and made to hold whatever gastronomical concoction we chose to spill upon you at the time. And for two solid years, you held strong. From stove to sink to hook and back to stove, day after day you gave your all. Thank you, sizzling sidekick.
Rice Cooker, your name misleads those who do not comprehend your true generous spirit. Rice yes, but beans also. Spaghetti sauce. Thanksgiving stuffing. Brownies. Chili. The list could go on. And to compound your struggles, you have worked for others before. We are not the first volunteers to reap the fruits which ye hath sown. A hand-me-down perhaps some would say. I say an heirloom or an old family friend is much more accurate. Thank you, my boiling buddy.
Water Heater, you are the quiet little workhorse in the corner of kitchen. Through the long static day you receive the electric life-giving charge, like a sentinel who at all costs shan’t let me go thirsty for tea, nor want for coffee, nor wait for MaMa, those great Oodles of Noodles of the East. When dawn breaks and the damned rooster just under my window doth call forth the day, the humble *click* of your thermostat tells me that the world continues to turn and the morn shall henceforth bring life anew. Thank you, my chaud chum.