I have noticed some blogs have famous guest bloggers share their thoughts from time to time. So, I figured I would try to get one myself. I did and he is certainly one of a kind. Enjoy. . .
How I became a Urine Collector
By P. Catcher
When I applied for the job, I was looking for a ground floor opportunity and I found it. The ad I responded to read something like this: Looking for adventure? Work closely with wild animals in their natural environment. Great health, accident and death benefits. Athletic flexibility a plus. Uniforms provided. Ground floor opportunity with potential for fast movement. Call for interview. Now, I was curious. This sounded like just the job I was looking for. I called for the interview and made the appointment. The address was on a dead-end road about 10 miles out from town. The office was rustic in a pleasant sort of way. But, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It wasn’t strong or overpowering, but it was everywhere. The receptionist was pleasant and made the normal small-talk that receptionists make with applicants for “ground floor opportunities”. Soon I was ushered into a large conference room populated by stuffed mounts of snarling coyotes, wolves, bobcats and foxes. With eight pairs of sightless eyes boring into me from all sides, I was more than a little uncomfortable. The door opened and a huge bearded man entered. The room suddenly became much smaller. As I took his meaty hand, I wondered if this same hand played an active role in the fate of the critters adorning the walls of the room. Mr. Henderson explained that his company was in the waste recycling business and need help in processing the waste materials and readying them for their new markets. “Excuse me, Mr. Henderson, but I thought this job had something to do with wild animals in the great outdoors, not waste recycling. Am I at the right place?” I said. “Yes, Mr. Catcher, you are in the right place. Come with me and I think it will become clearer,” said Mr. Henderson with a slight grin on his face. He took me down outside towards a long, low building. I noticed by now that I had become quite used to the smell, but it was definitely getting stronger as we approached the building. We entered through a steel door into a clean room with white walls and bright light. Along the walls hung large heavy-looking overalls and on a shelf were stacks of long rubber gloves with thick leather cuffs. On a rack above were rows of headgear that looked like a cross between a welders hood and an NFL helmet. A row of rubber overshoes lined the base of the wall. “Let’s suit up,” said Henderson. I was a little wary now, but I picked out a suit that looked about my size and began to put it on. It was much lighter than it looked, but thick and well padded. The helmet was light also with a mesh face protector that provided excellent peripheral vision. The gloves allowed for surprising dexterity and the boots provided great traction. I watched Mr. Henderson finish suiting up. He now appeared superhuman in size and power. I supposed I couldn’t get into too much trouble with him around. Henderson purposefully walked to the far end of the room, released a deadbolt and opened the door. He motioned for me to be quiet and follow. The door opened outside into a lightly wooded area. I could see high fences enclosed the perimeter. Large water tanks stood next to the building with spigots that emptied into a low trough camouflaged to look like a stream. I looked around. Even though I couldn’t be sure, I had the distinct impression that we were not alone. “Look over there behind that pine tree,” whispered Mr. Henderson. My eyes scanned over towards the pine tree. I saw nothing at first, but gradually my eyes separated a distinctive shape from the background. It was a coyote. I recognized it from those public TV National Geographic specials. “Watch this,” said Mr. Henderson. He went over to two tree stumps. Big twin maples that had long ago been cut down. Each stump was about 2 feet in diameter. He reached down, grabbed some sort of handle and pulled. Instantly the tops of the stumps popped up like lids on a hinged trash cans. I glanced back and saw the coyote start to move. I looked into the stump and could not believe my eyes. “Beer nuts and popcorn, they love ’em,” said Henderson. Henderson backed slowly away from the stumps and as he did I saw the woods come alive with movement. First the coyote by the pine tree began warily circling towards the stumps. The stumps were rigged up somehow to pump the beer nut and popcorn up and out like mini volcanoes. Soon the coyotes were coming from everywhere. Henderson moved slowly over to the tanks and opened the spigot and flow bubbled into the fake stream bed. But, it wasn’t water. It was gold and frothy and soon a familiar scent reached me. “That’s right Catcher, it’s beer. This is Pabst Blue Ribbon and a little past its freshness date. They like it all right, but you ought to seem ’em when they get into some Red Dog,” offered Henderson. I was almost stupefied by the drama unfolding in front of me, but my time as a mere spectator was to be short-lived. “Grab that flat-pan,” instructed Henderson as he pointed to a long-handled pan hanging from the wall. The flat-pan looked like an extended pizza paddle with a bed-pan shaped container instead of a flat blade. The handle was a good four feet long, hollow like a tube and connected to a coiled clear hose. As I got a grip on the pan, I watched the coyotes gorge themselves on the beer nuts and popcorn. Soon a few started backing away from the feed and start sniffing around. They started moving towards the stream of beer. “That stuff makes ’em wicked thirsty, they’ll be hitting the brew in a minute,” said Henderson as his eyes followed the pack, “get ready with that pan. You see, Catcher, we recycle wild animal urine. People use it for all kinds of reasons and they pay a lot for it. Your job is to collect it.” “Urine Collector,” I thought, “so that’s what the ad meant when it said ‘work closely with wild animals in their natural environment.'” I watched as the coyotes approached the stream. Henderson was right, they sure were thirsty. “They won’t stop drinking ’till I turn off the spigot. Kinda like the boys down at the Silver Spur. Now this is what you do. Take the pan and get down on your belly and sneak up behind them. As long as the beer tap is open, they won’t bother you. Get about 5 feet behind them, and slide the pan under the business end one of ’em. They’ll start peein’ soon, so be ready. They usually don’t all go at once, so should be able to handle quite a few by yourself . The hose on the handle is connected to a pump, so it’ll take all you can get. By the time we get a full crew hired, we ought to be able to get the whole herd at the same time. Now, collecting from the females is pretty simple, but with the males, it gets kinda tricky. They shoot off to one side or another and it gets worse after they’ve been in the beer for awhile. But, with practice you’ll rarely lose a drop,” instructed Henderson. I looked at the line-up of coyote tails and then looked for the door which Henderson had now fully blocked. I could tell my ground floor opportunity was about to begin. Down I went, pan in hand, and began slithering towards the coyotes. Coyotes look different from that angle. As I got closer, I extended the pan. “Close, get closer,” urged Henderson. I finally got the pan into position just as the flow began. The first was a female and it was a good shot. The male next to her took a little extra wrist action, but again I was successful. I could feel the urine coursing through the handle and into the hose and back to a holding tank concealed somewhere inside the building. In about 5 minutes, I must have collected a gallon or more. Judging from his exuberant body language, Mr. Henderson seemed to be quite pleased. One after another, I positioned my pan in the right spot and then began the subtle moves necessary to catch every last drop. It was more of a dance than anything and I was really getting into it, but then it happened. I should have been more careful, but I was just a beginner. I had my pan in position under a particularly large male, but just as he lifted his left leg he lost his balance on his right momentarily. A little too much Pabst, I suppose. I moved my pan quickly to compensate…..a little to quickly, I’m afraid. I whacked him good on a particularly sensitive part of the male anatomy. The sensation is something no female can comprehend, but as soon as it happened, I felt that coyote’s pain as much as if it was my own. There was no amount of beer that could distract that coyote from what had just occurred. I want to tell you that there is nothing quite like the feeling of being eye-ball to eye-ball with an 60# male coyote than has just had his bells rung. I now appreciated the copy in the rest of the original help wanted ad which read “Great health, accident and death benefits. Athletic flexibility a plus.” As I scrambled to my feet, the coyote took aim and lunged. He would have nailed me if I hadn’t tripped over the urine hose and toppled head long into the beer trough. I regained my footing and scrambled towards the door. Henderson was already on the other side peering out with the door cracked open. I could immediately tell what a warm, sensitive and caring boss he was as I heard him yell, “Shut off the beer, we’re wasting it!” I reached the door with 3 half-drunk coyotes in staggering pursuit. Fortunately, they couldn’t quite coordinate an effective attack and tripped all over each other in their failed attempt to kill me. I made it through the door just inches ahead of a coyote snout. Inside the door, I slumped to the floor. I couldn’t believe what I had just been through. I smelled like a barroom bathroom on Saturday night and looked like a deflated sumo wrestler. Henderson was beaming. “Not bad, son. The last couple of guys weren’t quite as agile as you are. The job is yours. You are a natural,” gushed Henderson. “You are a natural” No one had ever said that to me before. With renewed strength and pride, I pulled myself to my feet and shook Henderson’s outstretched hand.
Until I find more words. . .(my own or someone else’s). The PeeMan