Re: I think the point is
Once upon a time, back in the great and glorious days of the former Thatcher empire (before they managed to completely screw the country up), student life was wild, poor and, on the whole, the costs were met by the tax payer. Students didn't pay any tuition fees and were given money (OK, about £2,800 for the year, that's only £230 a month), housing benefit and reduced poll tax bills. They could even claim unemployment benefit during the vacations. Nowadays, of course, people don't believe a word of it.
There were those students, like myself, that had worked their way through college (that's the 16-18 institution in the UK) and were determined not to take the piss completely. Thusly, during the long Summer break between my first and second years, I presented myself at the door of Reeds employment agency in Deansgate, Manchester.
I barely had time to unpack my rucksack when the phone was ringing. "Is that Mr. TRT? Good, we've got some work for you, starting tomorrow morning in a meat packing plant in Trafford Park. Are you interested? £3.10 an hour."
On my last day there, (I had a new job lined up in a staff canteen in North Manchester), I was given the job of taking the rubbish bags from the packing and loading areas out to the dumpsters at the back of the factory. I was given half-an-hour for the task, and believe me, I needed it! I walked down the length of the Patti-matic 3000. Past the freezing tunnel, past the patty cutter, past the mixer stage, past the spicing unit, wave hello to Clive, past the stage 2 mincing device, past the stage 1 mincing device, past the meat loading stage, a curious bit where variously coloured wheeled trucks were hoisted 30 feet into the air and inverted, dumping their contents into a wide receptacle. Given the previous analogy of this machine to a beast, and the packing end as the mouth, this was presumably the anus.
I was only half-way down the factory though. The next machine was some grotesque meat chopping device which had rotating knives in it and looked like something from a Tim Burton film. This was stationed next to what could only be the world's second largest microwave, the largest being on top of Telecom tower. The conveyor snaked backwards and forwards through a separate room whilst enormous blocks of meat trundled along, some wrapped in thick blue cellophane. I don't know why they were wrapped in cellophane, but I do know that any cellophane that wasn't easily removed ended up going into the Edward Scissorhand's muff machine.
I carried on walking past machine after machine, each one having larger and more vicious looking blades, teeth, prongs and spikes, each dedicated to pre-masticating yours and my food presumably because we like it mushed up, but not too much, given the number of machines dedicated to putting it all back together again in easily recognisable shapes such as burgers and sausages. The work stations all had little plaques on them with words like de-boner, scavenging station 3, and reclamation unit 2. This last plaque was on another separate room two-thirds of the way down the production line and I could see a bunch of guys dumping the remains of carcasses into a huge metal tube with windowed sides where high-pressure hoses blasted the meat off the bones. The outlet of this room was a glass pipe pulsing with red and pink mush which disappeared God knows where down the factory [I've just had a thought; it probably led to the canteen as they had something similar looking in the Slush Puppy machine].
I could see the light at the end of the tunnel now. The back door of the factory. In the sparkling hazy distance I could make out a swathe of green separating us from the Manchester Ship Canal and beyond that the white framework of Old Trafford. I thankfully dumped my two bin liners full of waste into the large rubbish skip. The container was full of gleaming white bones mixed in with the black bags of canteen waste, discarded packaging tape and used vinyl gloves. The flies weren't swarming around these bins, oh no. They'd get more meat licking the surface of the nearby M602 (a particularly dangerous stretch) than from these bones.
It was at this point that I nearly fell into the skip with fright. I was startled by a sudden and deafeningly loud MOO! about 5 feet away from my ear and as I turned I looked into a pair of soft brown eyes. A herd of cows was munching away on the grassy plain at the raw ingredients end of the plant. I could hold my gut no longer and promptly gave the flies a whole new reason to investigate the skip.