Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cold Day, Hot Pie

Many, many years ago, in one of my earliest jobs in the construction industry, I worked for a grading and utilities contractor.  Our company's business was usually within about a 50-mile radius from the office, so our crews generally travelled to jobsites each day, as opposed to staying in hotels during the week.  One such early morning ride included our hero of this tale, named Bill.

On a frigid January morning, Bill's foreman pulled the company crew-cab into a convenience store about half way to their jobsite, a new sewer line project, approximately 1.5 hours drive from the office.  Bill, like most of his coworkers on the drive, had been snoozing on the way to the job, but rousted himself up to fetch some coffee and nabs (nabs = nondescript name for any type of snack food).  In addition to his coffee, Bill left the store with a pack of smokes and a factory-packaged fried apple pie.  Bill drank his coffee and smoked a cigarette while they were stopped, but put his pie away unopened for later in the morning, when he'd be taking a break.

When the crew arrived at the jobsite, and while the equipment operators lubed, cranked, and warmed up their various machines, Bill filled the resevoir of what's called a salamander heater with off-road diesel fuel.  The temperature was expected to only get into the 20's for a high that day, and the fellows would be wanting to keep warm, especially their hands.  A salamander heater has a metal saucer-shaped tank about the size of a small wash-tub as a base, with a 6" metal smokestack protruding skyward from its center.  The surfaces can throw off 150-degree heat, and really make a difference for men working with their hands to ward off the numbing effects of the cold.  Although a very chilly day, the weather was otherwise clear, and the crew began shouldering the task of laying pipe and setting manholes.

Then, about 9:30 that morning, Bill's breakfast started petering out, and he remembered that fried apple pie.  Man, he thought, that thing would be just the ticket about now.  And, it'd be even better if it was warmed up.  Of course, there wasn't a microwave oven on a pipeline jobsite out in the woods, but he did have a heat source: the salamander heater.  So, Bill went to the truck, grabbed his pie, took it out of its wax-paper wrapper, and laid it on the base of that heater, up close to the stove-pipe.  And waited.

15 minutes or so later, Bill figured that the time was right to check on the consumability of the pie.

Now, not being the sharpest tool in the shed, and having a limited understanding of the laws of thermodynamics, Bill didn't consider the possibility that his pie could theoretically be every bit as hot as the heater on which it had sat.

Bill, with his gloved hands, picked up his pie.  He turned the pie from hand to hand but couldn't guage the pie's temperature through the thick leather gloves.  At that point he decided to do one of those things that later affords no deniability...he slapped the very hot pie to the right side of his face, leaving a D-shaped scorch mark.


That moment of stupidity was one that old Bill was never able to, during his tenure with that particular company, live down.  And he eventually moved to greener pastures.

Recollecting this story reminds me of the temporary stupidity of folks who've chosen to endorse Democrats in recent years.  Can there be any deniability at this point that the Democrat Party is almost universally corrupt, particularly the Presidential administration?  Is there not a shrinking distinction between Democrat and Socialist?  The Obama/Biden White House has set new extremes for ineptitude and cronyism.  Chris Dodd and slobbering Barney Frank are finally going to get the "credit" they deserve for wrecking the economy.  The Clintons are proving to everyone that they never give a damn about anything besides more power, recognition, and authority for themselves.  Reid and Pelosi have shown exactly how lustful for more big-government schemes they can get when their authority goes unchecked.  Rangel and Waters could end up in jail for their crookedness.  Chicken-Little Gore's wealth redistribution scheme (and latent hypocrisy).  John Edwards' cheat-a-thon, and John Effin Kerry's boat-cloaking maneuver.  NC Congresscritter Boob Etheridge assaulting a student.  Funny man Franken's stolen election.  Bribery and scandal with Blago and Sestak.  Everything Alan Grayson has uttered.  The Atlanta-area Congressional dipshit that thinks Guam could tip over for having too many US soldiers stationed there.  Thuggery and shenanigans and corruption and outright ignorance.  The list goes on and on.

Seriously, if there's any good anywhere in the Donkey party, I ain't seeing it.

It may not be enough to scrape that Obama/Biden sticker off of your Prius in the months and years ahead...You may have to move to a place where nobody knows you, or knows what that big, D-shaped scorch mark on your face is all about.


  1. Ha, ha, ha!!! Great post!! But I hate to hear about wasting a good pie! ; )

  2. Thanks, Denise.

    If memory serves, I believe he still ate the pie. Long after it cooled, of course.