Our trio is about to become a quartet. With another pink little biped slated to make an appearance in less than a month, our family will finally be complete (we're stopping at two, Mom. Knock it off.) Our three-year-old will finally have a sibling to play with, which means we can finally ignore him.
Oh, don't you get all judgy on me. If you don't have kids, you wouldn't understand. Awww, I'd love to have a child I could play with all day long. No you fucking don't. Nobody likes a needy little parasite clinging like a blind leper, pawing at you greedily until you ultimately check yourself into the local nuthouse. It sucks. If you're a parent, you'll agree. If not, you're lying, you dirty filthy liar you.
Don't get me wrong. Kids are great. They really are. Shoot, that's why my wife and I decided of our own free will to bless ourselves with a couple of the little scamps. Experiencing life with a fresh little human by your side is like nothing else. Everything is new to them and their soft little minds have yet to be corrupted by the false desires of a greedy, consumeristic society. The way they look at life is nothing short of magical, so, yeah, I love being a dad and look forward to meeting the newest member of our beautiful family in just a few short weeks. I just need some peace and quiet every now and then.
But I realized something terrifying. Our first born is already a toddler, next year he'll be a pre-schooler. A revelation flooded over me, one that is absolutely chilling, bloodcurdling even.
I've forgotten what it's like to live with a baby!
The complete lack of independence, the incessant whining and crying (at least a toddler will remember to breathe every now and then between fits), the impossibility of ever being content; it was all going to hit me like a runaway freight train, a myopic infant at the controls.
So I thought I'd better prepare myself; preemptively expose my unassuming senses to an onslaught of babyness the likes of which I hadn't been exposed to in a good long while.
I had a plan. I went to work.
In the oil patch.
A lot of big fucking babies in there, I'll tell ya.
Let me back up a step. We just moved to a new town. The area is beautiful, the activities are plentiful, and the sun's life-giving rays bathe the mountains in breathtaking golden light day after day after awesome frickin' day. Living was the first priority, work a moderately distant second.
So, I grabbed the first work opportunity I came across to keep the duckies floating in the ol' bank vault; work in the Alberta oil patch.
It's a camp job, so believe me when I say this is temporary. Being away from home is completely undesirable for me and the missus. I don't think the little guy is overly concerned yet, but I have no inclination to miss my kids growing up for a month, weeks, or even days at a time.
Anyway, you know what I've learned out here while facilitating the removal of liquefied dinosaurs? It's not anything to do with the environmental stewardship I witness out here. Though I can attest that every effort is made to minimize environmental impact alongside production. I am genuinely impressed, just sayin'. Haven't even been bribed to say that (though you think maybe I should have held out?)
Nor is it the obscene amount of money and resources that flows in and around these projects, regardless of a recessed economy.
No, what I learned first and foremost, chiseled in my psyche like a granite tablet of truth, is that men are a bunch of whiny fucking babies.
Christ on a cracker can these guys ever bitch and moan like the sniveliest, whiniest little self-entitled shits the world has ever seen. The line up at a Toys "Я" Us on a Saturday morning before a kid's party has less ungrateful brats than half a pickup truck's worth of these insufferable oil-pumping moaning monkeys. You want to hear first-world problems? Come to an oil patch camp and turn your head sideways into the wind for less time than it takes to pour yourself a cup of regenerated coffee and your ear canals will immediately begin producing bucketfuls of gooey wax in a last ditch effort to block out the unbelievable amount of stupid pouring out of their faces.
It really is unreal.
The job is a gravy gig, easiest money I've ever made short of finding cash on the ground, and yet people can't seem to bitch enough about anything and everything. There's too much to do. There's not enough to do. My legs are tired from having to get up off my chair every hour and a half for ten minutes at a time. Sweet zombie Jesus.
People complain about work, whatever. I get that. Shoot, I've been guilty of it before, too. I'm sure we all have been at some point. But what really takes the cake out here is the incessant whining about food. Let me assure you, there is absolutely NOTHING to complain about regarding food in the camp.
First, the quantity. There is a metric shit-ton of it being produced all the time from the camp kitchen. Aside from the generous fare found at regular mealtimes, there are constant foodstuffs being made available as snacks for in-between meals: fruits, veggies, pastries, sandwiches, desserts. Everything you can ask for. At any given time there's enough food available to stuff a herd of elephants to the brim. Their wrinkles would smooth right out from the excessive input.
Second, the quality. Even when we're out in the field the kitchen staff pack us a giant meal box for dinner, hot food expertly seasoned and prepared which easily rivals any restaurant meal I've ever had. They could easily serve us frozen chicken nuggets and other questionable foodstuffs, but they don't. I've enjoyed chicken primavera, steaks n' shrimp, even beef and lamb souvlaki. And did I mention there's tons of it? There's tons. I'm gaining weight! Hardly any physical work and generous portions is disastrous for my waist line. My wife will have much more of me to love when I do get back home. I'm trying to watch my portion sizes, but it's just so damned good and plentiful. Shoot, my belt just poked it's way into a virgin notch, a degree of circumference never before visited until living the camp life. There's even friggin' dessert for our field meals. I tell ya, I'm eating like a middle-eastern prince.
So....lots to eat, right? Lots of tasty stuff too, right? And yet, apparently I alone am satisfied with the food situation out here. Take the site supervisor for instance.
"What the Fuck is this?! No dessert?! Jesus Christ, can't they get anything right?"
"It's a fruit crumble this time, Marlo. In the hot box."
He pauses, hopefully contemplating what a dumb shit he is.
"Well, they should fucking label the box or something. I can't see way back in there."
I need someone out there full time to massage my temples. Good Lord.
I'm tempted to bring a box full of pacifiers and hand them out one day. I'd swear I'm working with newborns with the amount of wailing going on. My ears perpetually bleed from the whiny onslaught. They also bitch about how their bed sheets haven't been changed in over a week. It's not a fucking hotel, fer crissakes. It's camp. These thirty, forty, fifty year old infants apparently are utterly dumbfounded by the concept of simply leaving a note for the camp staff to change the sheets. They do tidy up the rooms every day, bringing fresh towels and making the bed. Just ask them to change the sheets when they need changing. That so hard?
Seriously, biggest babies I've ever met. Their ways of thinking haven't changed since hitting puberty. They all think they've got the biggest dicks around, pretending they're making big important decisions but secretly needing to have their mommies around to coddle them and kiss their boo-boos and make the world cater to them.
I'm ashamed for my gender. Now, there are great guys out there, don't get me wrong, but the level of infancy ingrained in most of these "men's" psyches is deplorable. I'm looking for something else, of course, work-wise. I was always going to. But exposure to all these oil patch man-babies has me eager to find auditory relief with a beautiful newborn discovering the power of its little lungs.
Yeah, sure, there'll be crying and inconsolable whining, but once I get used to it I'll stop. As for the newborn, compared to the swill I have to listen to out here, it'll be like honey ointment for my ears.
So, please, do me a favour in trying to set the world right.
When grown adults in your sphere of influence bitch and moan about the dumbest, most insignificant shit going on in their imaginary kingdoms, just tell them to shut the eff up and ask why their acorns still haven't descended yet.
Or better yet, stick a bottle full of warm milk in their face and read them a bedtime story. Babies love that shit.