Wilson’s Government “Job”

As much as “Wilson” disliked and distrusted government, he did have a government “job” most of the time I knew him.

He had been stopped by a cop at some point, and ticketed for something. Probably “driving without a license”, but I’m not certain of that (I do know he never had a driver’s license as long as I knew him). Part of his “fine” was community “service” at the recycling center– I think he was there for a couple of months. (I met him during his stint at the recycling center.)

Apparently, the supervisor was impressed enough with his work that he offered Wilson a permanent job at the landfill.

Even better was what Wilson was to do as his job: he just walked around the perimeter fence all day picking up escaped trash. Honestly, he really enjoyed it. It didn’t pay as well as the job government cronyism had stolen from him earlier, but it was peaceful, undemanding, and he was left alone from the time a co-worker dropped him off in the morning until he picked him up at night.

He carried a backpack, his .40 pistol, and a “wrist rocket” type slingshot. For his lunch break he would often use the slingshot to shoot a grouse, then cook it over a small fire. Occasionally he shot an extra grouse and took it home for a later meal (he offered me a bird once or twice).

I never questioned him about the contradiction of working for an entity he despised– it was none of my business. I just knew the job suited him better than most other available jobs.

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Kent McManigal

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