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Mini flashback

May 29, 2022

The word of the day at the Ragtag Daily Prompt is MOP.

It’s interesting to me how a word or song or smell can trigger a memory. And why it doesn’t happen all the time or more often.

A long time ago, I worked for a big company in a small print shop. It was a boring job, but the people I worked with were fun. Like the guy who lit a press wash-soaked rag on fire just to see what would happen. Press wash was a cleaner for cleaning the rollers on the printing presses. It smelled bad and it was flammable.

That was Ricky who lit the fire. Ricky would, on most days, come back stoned from lunch and he would say and do stupid stuff. Like calling Darryl, the delivery driver, a “popcorn pimp” to his face, or lighting a rag soaked in press wash on fire just to see what would happen.

The supervisor, he had an office in another part of the building and rarely visited us. He never knew about Ricky’s rag experiment.

Dale was thin and had greasy blonde hair and he wore extremely tight pants every day. Pants that were so tight that one could see the outline of everything. Everything means exactly what you’re thinking it means. Office staff would frequently walk their work requests back to us rather than leaving them in work request basket up front just to see Dale and his everything.

Dennis started work at 3:00 PM. Dennis was the janitor, and he did not talk. I don’t know if he really could not talk or if he just did not want to talk. Dennis would smile and nod if you said hello, but he never said anything that I ever heard. Dennis would come by every afternoon at 3:30 and empty our waste barrels. I left work at 4:30 and I would sometimes see Dennis on my way out of the shop pushing a mop and bucket up towards the front office.

Ricky panicked when he saw the flames and smoke and he tried to stomp on the burning rag to put out the fire. Dale was cooler headed, and he took the cover of a paper box and tossed it onto the rag and smothered the flames.

And Darryl, he just laughed and shook his head when Ricky called him a “popcorn pimp.”


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Smell mop.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy (Andersen) Hogan permalink
    May 30, 2022 10:07 am

    My husband and I owned a Minuteman Press franchise store back in the 90s. I remember the smell of press wash, and the various “easy-going” guys who would come and go, to work the press, cameras and stitchers. One brought his pet ferret to work with him, every day, on the bus. Another brought his divorce drama. Press wash.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 4, 2022 10:36 am

    We had a camera too and I liked using that. I like the “easy-going” description! I think what I liked about the job was that it was a care-free job in the sense that once you had the press set up then you sit back and let it run. I also liked working the bindery. It’s cool that you two owned a Minuteman Press franchise.


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