Last night at work we were talking about this video, featuring “Klaus” on his first day as a licensed forklift driver. It’s in German, but that matters not. Check it out, if you haven’t. It’s fantastic. I saw it years ago, before YouTube even existed, at a website called Portal of Evil.
God, how I miss that site… They discovered and curated early internet weirdness, like this gem. It was funny as hell, and often disturbing (which I enjoy). Many of the links at my old page The Mountain were found there. I’m sure 99% are now dead, but you can get a general idea of the fucked-upness of it all, by the titles.
There was a similar site run by a thin-skinned little weirdo who would get all offended and huffy at the slightest hint of criticism, and take down his website. This happened dozens of times, but within 48 hours it was usually back. Occasionally he’d fly completely off the handle, disappear for a week or two, and come back at a different address. The dude was paranoid and believed he was being bullied, stalked, etc. Ahh, it was a simpler time…
Anyway, I was surprised when almost everybody at my job was familiar with Klaus and his adventures. It used to be super-obscure, but not anymore. Hell, I wasn’t even the one who brought it up. It was disconcerting. I used to be the exclusive Northeastern Pennsylvania Keeper of the Klaus, and now this…
When I went to YouTube to find the video for you guys, I was sucked down a rabbit hole — which so often happens. I clicked on something labeled “forklift accidents” and there went another hour of my life. Here’s a taste:
A few years ago I was informed I would be required to have a forklift license at my job, and went through several days of training. My heart wasn’t in it, but I had no choice in the matter.
And I remember the instructor telling us a story designed to frighten. He said that at one of his former workplaces a guy jumped on a forklift to move it out of the way. He had no idea how to operate it, but decided it couldn’t be very hard. So, he got on, turned the key, and began messing with the controls. All sorts of things started happening, and he panicked. He had the forks lifted about five feet off the floor, whipped the thing around in a single tight circle, and drove them straight through a wall — instantly killing a man in the break room on the other side.
He said the guy was just sitting there, minding his own business, lifting a sandwich to his mouth. And it was that last bit of information that caused me great discomfort, as I tried to suppress my laughter. It was relayed to us in a melodramatic earnest tone, and my whole body was shaking with stifled laughter for the next ten minutes.
By the way, I got my license, and never used it. Not once. I think the thing expired in 2010 or 2011. Oh well.
And this one wasn’t supposed to be all about forklifts, but it’s the way it goes sometimes. Do you have any experience with those freaking things? Any stories to tell? I try to steer clear. It’s not a skill I have a burning desire to acquire. Ya know? But if you have anything to share, please do.
Also, if you were online during the mid-to-late ’90s, what now-defunct sites did you frequent? Remember rotten dotcom? Wow! What old websites do you miss?
And… if you have any tales to tell about inappropriate laughter, we’ll take those too.
Thanks for reading, my friends!
I’ll be back on Monday.