Author's Note: This is a little AU, since the film came out in 1990. I just moved that up a few years, okay?
In the employment forms, there was an actual list of qualifications necessary to be eligible for the Sunnydale garbageman's job, but nobody really paid any attention to this. All anybody cared about was that those who applied were dead broke and desperate for any -- ANY -- kind of work, even in a place that had really wild rumors about it, including what could be found in that town's refuse.
Survival instincts were a plus, too.
Though, for the first few months at their new jobs, Valentine McKee and Earl Bassett were lucky enough not to need these. Instead, they went around their occupation of moving the town's garbage, and along the way, they learned a few little things that the citizens they worked for would have felt rather uncomfortable having other people know about.
In one house, the inhabitants seemed to live on nothing but alcohol and Twinkies.
There was a shuttered Crawford Street mansion that never seemed to show any signs of life, yet on collection day, the trash can in front of this building was always overflowing with empty bottles and boxes of hair products (brunette style).
For some reason, a small suburban house on Revello Drive kept throwing away ruined teenage female clothing covered with peculiar stains, plus lots of multi-colored sheets of paper covered with glitter and having on this written numerous times: BUFFY LOVES ANGEL. On one occasion in feminine handwriting, the odd sentence was included, "Elizabeth Anne __________. Think of a casual way of asking just what's his last name."
Still, considering this was Sunnydale, sooner or later, the odds would catch up with Val and Earl.
So, a few months later, the night-shift supervisor wasn't all that surprised, when late one night, these two guys staggered into the battered shack that served as the town dump office, their working outfits of stained overalls ripped and clawed into shreds, lined up before his decrepit desk covered with paperwork, and simultaneously chorused, "We quit!"
"Uh-huh," was the only reaction from the supervisor, a squat fireplug of a plus-fifty man with eyes that were way too old, as he shifted his stubby unlit cigar from one corner of his mouth to the other, turned in his listing swivel chair to the ancient file cabinet against the wall, and yanked open one of the drawers, this causing a screeching sound that grated against everyone's ears.
"That's it?!" yelled the older guy of the pair trembling in front of the desk, his scruffy beard dropping to his chin, as his mouth fell open in surprise, before continuing with serious disbelief. "You don't even want to know what tried to eat us tonight?!" The other guy, a terrified younger kid, kept quiet and longingly eyed the wastebasket by the desk, gauging how quickly he could get to it if he became sick.
"Nope," said the supervisor in a matter-of-fact tone, as he pulled out two forms from the file cabinet drawer, and after a struggle and another painful screech, the man shoved the drawer closed. Checking he had the correct forms, without bothering to look at the pair standing in front of him, their boss went on, "If you're here, you survived--" In the middle of that statement, the man paused, now sending a quick glance out of the corners of his eyes at his irate employees, to check on them for breathing and a heartbeat. Yep, the kid was hyperventilating, and the guy with the beard had a vein throbbing at the corner of his temple.
Slapping down the termination notices onto the other heaps of paperwork on his desk, the supervisor shrugged in utter boredom, and gruffly said, "You wanna quit, just sign these. Oh, by the way, they're also a confidentiality agreement. You keep your mouths shut about anything that happened here, or you get your asses sued off."
The bearded guy was struck dumb in sheer shock at this, allowing the kid to take over in offering his opinion over the whole thing, yelping, "Keep QUIET?! We're gonna tell the world, the networks, CNN, the freakin' National Guard, the Seventh Cavalry, the Vatican--"
"It pays six months' salary."
That offhand remark by the supervisor caused the bearded guy to use his elbow, snapping this out to give the kid a really good shot in the ribs, abruptly cutting off his rant, as the older man leaned forward to grab a pen off the desk and quickly signing his name on one of the forms. Straightening up while still holding the pen, Earl Bassett turned to a wheezing Valentine McKee to slap the pen into his friend's hand, while hissing, "Sign, goddammit!"
A pained glare was given to an impatient Earl by Val, who then reluctantly leaned over and signed his own name to the other termination notice.
Two thick envelopes were then tossed to the pair in front of the desk, taken out of one of the drawers in this piece of furniture. Both Earl and Val looked at each other with puzzlement, to then peek inside their envelopes, with their mouths dropping open in awe at the wad of cash they found there.
Casually, their now no longer supervisor drawled, "Guys, don't let the door hit--" This was cut off by the sudden breeze inside the office as two former garbagemen promptly disappeared, the door of the shack slamming shut after them.
Shaking his head as he gathered up the termination notices, the dump manager muttered, "Dumbasses. They should be thanking their lucky stars over everything, including having been in a really strong union that got concessions from the mayor, including spells on these forms that'll make them forget everything they ever learned here in Sunnydale. I can remember in this town when termination notices meant something entirely different."
A hour later, well over sixty miles from their start, in their speeding pickup truck loaded with their possession, Val shook his head several times and looked puzzled. Glancing over at his partner at the wheel staring fixedly ahead at the road zipping past, the young man spoke, "Hey, Earl, slow down. There's no reason to drive so fast."
"What?!" barked his friend. Looking at Val, Earl snapped, "Are you crazy? Of course there's a reason! We're leaving….uh, what was the name of that place again?" In the middle of that last sentence, it was Earl's turn to look a little confused, as he now lifted his foot off the gas pedal pressed all the way to the car floor, for that vehicle to slow down a bit.
Val opened his mouth, and then shut it again in mild bafflement, to shrug, "Beats me. Anyway, we got some money, and a better job to go to, right?"
Earl had a rare expression of happiness pass over his rugged features. "Yeah, totally different from, uh, whatever that place was. It's working as handymen in the middle of the desert, nobody around but a few people, no weird stuff whatever."
Val scratched his head, trying to bring back the vague recollection of something he'd forgotten. "Why is that so important?"
Now much more relaxed, Earl shrugged, "No idea. Actually, it doesn't seem all that important right now."
Nodding in agreement, Val shifted in his seat, and leaned over the corner of the cab, preparing to doze off during their trip. A few seconds later, a sleepy voice came from him. "Hey, buddy, what's the name of where we're going, anyway?"
"Oh, that. Perfection, Nevada."
"Cool. Night, Earl."