I Worked in this Place Once...
It's a place that a lot of people know about. I'm not going to name it, but I will call it Foo, short for Foofaraw, which, according to the Internet means,
A great deal of fuss or attention given to a minor matter.
Which isn't necessarily true about the actual physical place, but it is true about all of the human shenanigans contained within it. In fact, I always thought if you wanted to study what life would be like on a human outpost on an alien planet, you should study the community in Foo.
It was the weirdest, most warped place I've ever spent time in. I even wrote a novella called Foo, which I wrote during the eighty-three days of COVID panic that caused all entrances to this location to be locked down.
But I want to tell you a different story. Just a quick vision into this demented and strangely wonderful, but maybe in a Stockholm syndromy kind of way, community.
It's night. It's winter. The roads are shit. The road crews are prepping to run the plows all night. We all know if someone needs to drive an ambulance down any of the roads, it's going to be disaster. Maybe tomorrow we won't be able to drive to the nearest town, hours away in good weather, to get groceries. Maybe the power will go out (always a good guess). Maybe the trees will explode (that was a wild day). Maybe the snow will be followed with rain, but the snow won't melt and everything will flood (you think it shouldn't be possible, but it is). Maybe something will light on fire (also aways a good good guess). Maybe some rocks and mud will carry a road away (that's a slow fix). Or maybe the wind will blow trees onto houses (will it be yours?)
So we're just waiting for whatever BS natural disaster is inevitably going to occur, because the thing about Foo is, it's the one place I've lived where an actual natural disaster happens on average every few weeks. I know that makes no sense. You think I'm lying, but it's real.
But back to this winter night. One of the plow drivers is parked at his house, the plow idling and blocking the road. Dispatch calls him over the radio. You can hear the diesel machine banging in the background. You know he's not driving though, or he would have never answered the radio. Driving and listening to the radio is so loud it's basically impossible.
Dispatch calls whatever the plow driver's radio call sign is, let's call it 764.
"764, 689 is reporting a missing husky. Have you seen it?"
"A husky? No! I'm plowing. I didn't take no husky."
"Copy, 764. Keep an eye out for the husky. Described as seventy pounds, all white. Name is Gnarly."
There is a long pause here.
"Dispatch? Are you talking about a dog?"
"Affirm, 764. The dog's name is Gnarly."
"I thought you were talking about a chainsaw! I ain't seen no dogs. Who puts a dog in a plow? And I didn't take no Husky chainsaw either"
And then the conversation was over. Gnarly the dog, he lived next to me, was found, and the world believed that plow driver 764 wasn't the kind of man to take a chainsaw, let alone take a chainsaw into a plow.