We have a winner...
But none of you more miserable than one Scott, who wrote:
I had a job in a lead soldier factory. There were big hot machines that spewed out rings of lead soldiers. I was a "picker," who had to pick off the little soldiers from these rings and trim the "flash" (molten lead that has leaked into the mold joins) from them. This was a highly stupid task--repititious, boring, and the whole while I was breathing lead fumes. But the soul-destroying (as opposed to lung-destroying) part was that ocassionally at the end of 1000 or so soldiers, I would realize that the suspiciously similiar bit of flash I had just trimmed from all those lame-ass hats of the Prussian Fucking Light Guard was in fact a FEATHER.
IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE! Didn't I KNOW that the Prussian Fucking Light Guard had feathers on their hats?
I had accomplished nothing. My lungs had been coated with lead for nothing. The men who ran the melting machines hated me, for they had accomplished nothing. And all those steadfast little tin soldiers would all be dumped back into the big garbage can to be remelted, never to make a little boy smile.
This happened quite regularly.
Scott, if you're still with us, please drop me an e-mail with your address so I can send you your fabulous prize.