Jim “Haystacks” Melvin, a Green Lake Semi-notable.
Recently, in a report entitled “What Would a Mars Landing Do For Janitors?”, we brought you the story of Rockin’ Our Way to Mars, an organization of space program janitors determined to place one of their own on the first manned flight to Mars, and their own Jim Melvin. Lovingly handled “Haystacks,” Melvin falls short of the NASA height requirement and falls well above the NASA weight requirement for astronauts. Yet he still remains the janitors’ curious choice for that coveted ride. What forces put Melvin at the top of the janitors’ list? We followed him around for a day in Green Lake, and found a whole lot of Melvin doesn’t really go a long way.
7:00 am: Melvin told us that this is when he woke up, but when we arrived at his apartment building, we had to ring the buzzer eight times before hearing a “Hey, $!@# off, man, I don’t want that pizza anymore!”
8:15 am: Melvin comes stumbling down the stairs in a blue jumpsuit. He introduces himself as “really #$&ing late” (NASA starts work at 7:45 am) and we pile into his truck.
8:20 am: As the truck won’t start, we drive Haystacks to work, which, as it turns out, is across the street from his apartment. He requires that we stop for French toast sticks at Big Dog’s Armadillo Eatery.
8:37 am: Melvin walks into work with his jumpsuit on backwards, having somehow twisted it in the Big Dog’s restroom. After fixing the problem, he introduces us to his bosses, Harry Shepard and June McCready, and goes to get his supplies for the day.
10:15 am: By this point we’ve picked up three candy bar wrappers Melvin has dropped, and that’s more trash than he’s picked up. Melvin seeks out McCready and says he’s taking his morning break. 15 minutes later he returns, finds Shepard and says he’s taking his morning break. “That’s what’s great about two bosses, man,” he says with a smirk.
12:45 pm: Melvin takes three brooms and starts an impromptu javelin contest with two interns from Appleton State. His broom sails far beyond the others, but crashes into a pile of moon rocks being tested. A researcher chews Melvin out, saying “We were ten minutes from a cure for cancer, you dimwit!”
2:10 pm: Melvin, found sleeping under a Hubble Space Telescope lens, announces it’s time to call his girlfriend, Tina Domino. The strength of the relationship is questioned by our reporting team based on the short length and abrupt end of the conversation.
3:20 pm: Melvin waxes philosophical about the Janitors to Mars crusade: “It’d be just like that Journey record, ‘Escape,’ you know? We’ll be up there, escaping, just like Journey. And I’d be the Wheel in the Sky that just keeps on turning, man. That’s so cool.”
4:39 pm: Melvin blinds the entire NASA staff by throwing his extra janitor suit over them, then sneaks out of work early. “What a day!” he exclaims. “Still, it’s all worth it to get to Mars and see all those celebrities.”
5:00 pm: Melvin heads out for dinner and dancing; too disgusted by the prospect of reporting on those two activities, we shake hands and head home.