The Outsider: Ice creams from the dump

It’s been a tad warm the last couple of weeks, wouldn’t you agree?

While I am definitely not complaining, it has made working on construction projects rather exhausting. Every movement means another pint of sweat, every exertion, another wipe of the brow, every 10 minutes or so another glug of water just to stop ourselves from melting away completely and enable us to sweat some more. 

As if this wasn’t hard enough, we almost always work right next to a lake, where more often than not, the cottage owner or their near neighbour are enjoying summer by the water in the correct manner. They are lounging on the dock with a beer. They are diving in the lake to cool off and then clambering out again to crack another one straight from the cooler. 

My colleagues and I wince at the sound of a beer can being opened, at the fizz of bubbles as a bottle top is twisted off. Our mouths hang slightly open, our dry lips dampen with saliva as we drool at the thought of a beer. But work is pressing and so on we toil dragging our thoughts back to the job and away from the taste of that beer, of anything cold and refreshing.

Every now and again, a cottage owner catches sight of us drooling and comes to the rescue with an after-work drink for us but for the most part we finish, pack up and go on our thirsty way. And, it was on one of these days, one of these scorchers of a day, that I’d sweated more than a sumo wrestler in a sauna, finished a job, packed tools into the trailer and crammed a giant pile of garbage into the truck. There was one last job, one final stop at the landfill before I could go home for a beer and a splash in the river. 

We got to the dump, unloaded our garbage, and, dripping in sweat, went over to the cabin to sign out our load. The inside of the hut was cool, almost cold; the two dump employees sitting contentedly behind the desk. I ‘ahhhed’ at the frigid haven in which they sat and commented on their luck. 

“Yup,” said one, “it’s kind of’ nice in here. Want a glass of cold water?” 

“No, thanks,” I smiled, and then joked, “but an ice cream would be great just at this moment.”

“OK,” said dump guy. And, to my utter amazement, he reached behind him into the tall fridge freezer and tossed me a chocolate ice cream sandwich. 

“Your buddy will want one too,” he said with a grin, tossing me another. 

I was gobsmacked. “Err, thanks … thank you so much, this is wicked, ice cream at the dump. Wow. Thanks.”

I marched triumphantly to the truck, threw my buddy his surprise ice cream and waved mine in the air as we drove off. 

“Ice creams from the dump. Oh yeah!” he said and for that moment we thought we were the luckiest fellows in the world. 

That is how little it takes to make someone’s day but sometimes it takes an unexpected benefactor to remind us. 

Thanks, dump guys. See you again soon

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