Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ralph On Fire - Moose Scat

The section chief I reported to walked over and started a casual conversation, but quickly got to the point. “Ralph, I’d like to ask you a favor,” he said pointing at several locations around the room, “Could you please clean those up? I think they’re revolting.”

Without hesitation I replied, “No sir, I can’t. It’s . . .”

This had been a good fire. While the fire burnt more acres than we had hoped, there were no serious injuries and no homes were lost.

In addition, many of the town’s people dropped by for updates including the man who owned the local bakery. He would show up almost daily with a huge box of pastries telling us they were leftovers. It didn’t take long before you realized he was making them special. No one in the bakery business could possibly have that many ‘leftovers’ all the time. One day it might be a box of donuts, another day cinnamon rolls, etc. He always brought more than we could eat.

After two and half weeks, the fire had been declared contained. Contained is when the spread of the fire has stopped. It would be several more weeks before the fire would be declared controlled. Usually, when a fire is contained overhead teams like the one I was on would be released. But, we were being held for our duration. This is a common practice during bad fire seasons when fire-fighting resources are in short supply. That way if another fire started we were there.

Even with the fire being contained, visits from the town people and treats from the baker continued. One day the baker showed up with a huge box for chocolate crepes filled with chocolate cream. They were great. But, like everything else he brought there were far more than we could eat.

The following afternoon walking into the room to start my shift, I saw one of my team members hanging up a sign. The sign read “Moose Scat” with an arrow pointing down. Looking down you had to laugh as you saw three chocolate filled crepes lying crisscrossed on the floor.

Most people when entering the room read the sign, looked down, and busted out laughing. Everyone except the section chief. He walked in, saw it and demanded it be cleaned up by the time he returned. This caused us to have a brief discussion whether we should clean it up or not. While he was a great guy and easy to work for we decided we needed to stand our ground.

The following afternoon the local baker walked in with his usual large box of goodies. Before we could conceal it he saw the ‘moose scat’ and busted out laughing. After a brief explanation on our part, he said he might be able to help us. He was laughing when he left.

The following day he showed up with two large boxes. One contained a huge assortment of Danish rolls for the team and the other he took to a nearby wall. He gently placed the box on the floor and carefully opened it. After a few seconds, he called us over to inspect his work. There on the wall hung a sign that read, ‘Caution! Cow pies below.’ Looking down you saw two realistic looking cow pies. They were made out of chocolate dough. Once again, the baker was laughing as he left.

When the section chief arrived, he went ballistic. That just strengthened our resolve to stand our ground, the moose scat and cow pies would stay.

Then things took a turn for the worst. Every time you entered the building, you had to look around because new droppings had arrived. Milk Duds were elk droppings. Chocolate covered raisins were transformed into squirrel scat.

Creativity knew no bounds. Within a few days, several variations of the scat theme appeared including that of a mountain lion with a portion of a fire fighters glove in it.

That is when the section chief I reported to walked over and started a casual conversation, “Ralph, I’d like to ask you a favor,” he said pointing at several locations around the room, “Could you please clean that up? I think they’re revolting.”

Without hesitation I replied, “No sir, I can’t. It’s not my . . . crap”

Three days later, our replacement team arrived. Before they took over we straightened up our work areas and each person removed the scat pile(s) they had placed in the room. It wasn’t the replacement teams’ crap either.

14 Comments:

Blogger Granny Annie said...

Remind me to keep my grandchildren away from you. They don't need to learn such stories.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

That's quite a story, and funny at that! You must have been really bored. I am a true believer that work should be fun!!

9:57 PM  
Blogger bobbie said...

Absolutely, Marla. If you can't have fun at work any more, it's time to move on. I learned that the hard way.

12:19 AM  
Blogger possum said...

The more pressure you have to work under - the more you need something like this to break the tension. The chief should have understood. Feel sorry for him.
Good story!

7:52 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Now that was a good story Ralph! It certainly does help to have fun at work!!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ralph, I'm still laughing. Your crap is really good lately!
We had a captain in our group who was really onto the group who were supposed to keep the old TPS1D radar going.
Finally our warrant officer had enough, he told the captain they were having trouble with the fallopian tube. The captain passed it up the line. Sometimes those guys have to learn the tough way.

Sunday funny note, it rang my 'crap' barrel as well. I remember porches and brooms as my mother chasing me with a broom, all the way out onto the porch we went. I was laughing hard, she got that way too. It was silly.
..

10:17 AM  
Blogger Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Ralph! This is a great story and brought back some funny memories. One year my boss brought in a wooden Rudolph. Rudoplh would make his rounds around the building. Sometimes he left something. Sometimes not. Sometimes we would find him on a desk or on a chair. Before we sat, we looked cause you never knew. The funniest was us girls put Rudolph in the men's room, carefully balanced on the toilet with a sign that read, "Rudolph said you ain't getting shit for Christmas." We waited for the first guy to enter. Hoping it wasn't someone from the public. It was the oldest guy working there at the time. He was in his 70's. We heard the scream of laughter. He came running out asking who did it. I don't no. Those we the good old days. Thanks. Lisa

4:04 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

lol. my kind of fun. work pranks are the best.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Well crap Ralph, good writing again.

6:51 AM  
Blogger GardenAuthor said...

Such creativity! Like many others, it reminds me of so many on the job pranks and jokes.

It also reminds me of the time, while cleaning out the cow barn at school, when I fell into a gutter of "the real thing" and a wheelbarrow full of the same, fell on top of me. Next period was "Study Hall," then came the long rural bus ride home... never had so much elbow room, since then!

Thanks for the laughs! And thanks for what you do, in behalf of others, on a daily basis. /Deb

9:03 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

That's a crappy story, but I like it.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

That is both fun and funny.
I like the way the joke evolved.
Those elk droppings would not have lasted long if I'd been there. I'd have picked those morsels up and eaten them.
I bet there were no chocolate truffles used in those crappy creations. Truffles are too darned valuable for that nonsense.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

I'll bet there was a tootsie roll involved somewhere in the display!
Many blessings on that baker. He found a great way to express his appreciation.

8:18 PM  
Blogger nora said...

Cut the crap Ralph!

8:20 AM  

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