Sunday, December 2, 2007

More redneck stories

A long time ago I did in plant maintenance in a steel products plant. I repaired machinery and fabricated anything they needed. We were all a little ignorant and a little touchy about things that we understood every one was touchy about.

Name calling was taken very seriously, because we knew the worm on the other end meant it. I know words can't hurt you, but disrespect would lead to some one pushing the envelope until physical encounters ensued. In a lot of cases "bud nippin'", to borrow the words of the honorable Deputy Fife, was the safest approach.

I was checking some things out (that would be the blond) with one of the line repairmen, when the festivities commenced with very little warning. A couple of the, and I use the term to the detriment of the remaining southern women, "ladies" exchanged comments over their shoulders. Something about one of them being a Southern Lady Under Tension, reduced to an acronym. There might have been something about the other, perhaps a racial slur.

At any rate they turned on the instant and commenced to belabor each other with steel chair legs.


The repair guy and I were not amused. He looked at me and asked what should we do? I asked him if he had lost his mind, I had no intention of wandering into a maelstrom of sharp edged chair legs, or worse fingernails. He allowed that discretion was, indeed, the better part of valor, and eventually they would get tired and take a break. I opined that if we got involved, no matter what we did some one would think it was wrong. He agreed fully.

Then it got serious, one of the "ladies", again let me apologise, punched the other in the face and caused her to step back,,,, onto the trip lever of a rivet press! This little machine will smack your butt cheek into the configuration of a pancake while setting a 3/4 inch rivet in it for a conversation piece. At the rate of one per second.

That scared the hell out of me and I was thirty feet away!

Well, it is written, fools rush in! I told the other dude, "grab that one and go north, I'll grab the other and go south, remember to duck! Suiting action to words,I snatched up my victim in one arm and sprinted for open space. She instantly tried to open my head with the chair leg. I caught her hand just before I received the "New" look.

I would have to think of a heck of a war story to excuse that many stitches. Some how "A stupid little heifer beaned me with a chair leg." just doesn't bring up the proper heroic picture!

They cooled off instantly, and got that look that says " I have put the beer money in jeopardy".

We dropped those two like a hot rock and went to the plant manager to tell him what happened, and what we did, the story beat us to his office. Some one accused us of dragging them by the hair, not a bad idea, but ungenteel after all.

They were back at work the next day, best friends.

The story about me and the repair dude lasted longer than the story about the fight!

If there is ever a next time, I think I will wait to see if the rivets jingle when they walk.

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