During my college years I spent a few summers working for the DPW in Barnegat Light (named for its lighthouse, built in the late 1850s by George Gordon Meade, when he was with the Army Corps of Engineers; a few years later, he would go on to command the Union forces at Gettysburg), New Jersey, a small town at the north end of Long Beach Island that was not on the way to anywhere...
We picked up the town's recycling each week, and tend to whatever odd projects needed doing. But the choice detail was beach clean-up. We'd drive the 30-odd blocks of beach-front, admiring the pretty girls while we dumped trashcans that oozed and overflowed with all sorts of unmentionable things, all the while sweating to the local oldies station.
One day, an older lady flagged us down, pointing in the direction whence we had come. Morgan ("The Organ" - enough said) slowed the truck down, stopping beside her.
"There's a dead bird over there," she said.
I pulled on my suede work gloves. "I'll take care of this."
I got out of the truck and walked about 50 feet back, in the direction she was pointing. It was a seagull carcass; given its overall condition, the bird had obviously been dead for quite some time.
I picked up the bird and walked back to the truck. "Thank you, ma'am," I nodded to the lady. "Just a seagull. We'll handle it from here."
"Oh, my," she said, looking somewhat dismayed. "Tell me, do you have any idea what it died from?"
I paused. Cause of death? Hell, I thought - given the shape it was in, the thing had been overtaken in the shipping lanes by some foreign-documented freighter and only landed here by dint of wind and current.
I shook my head. "Too soon to say," I told her, "but the lab boys should be able to shed some light for us. Thanks again, and have a great day."
She backed away, seemingly reluctant to accept my preliminary report. The truck began to lurch forward as Morgan let up on the brake. I stood my ground, took a deep breath and lobbed the carcass as hard as I could against the rear windshield of the cab, shouting, "SQUAK!!!" as it made contact. Morgan slammed on the brakes. He turned around and leaned out the window, yelling, "What THE FUCK is wrong with you?!"
But I had already hopped in the back of the truck. "Go!" I clutched the side of the truck as Morgan peeled away. And with that we sallied forth, admiring the pretty girls while we dumped trashcans that oozed and overflowed with all sorts of unmentionable things, all the while sweating to the local oldies station - which played this song damn near every day...