Midnight at the Oasis – More Nighttime Hi-Jinx on Prytania

My blog is my confessional

My blog is my confessional

We’ve all committed sins, done many things for which we are not proud, some for which we still feel guilt and others we do not.  We walk around with secrets that we try to bury within ourselves, act like they never really happened.  No one really suspects we’ve done these wrongs to ourselves and others, but we know, don’t we.

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Laughter, Medicine for Life – Gags at P&G

The Dolly Parton Bldgs (aka P&G HQ)

The Dolly Parton Bldgs (aka P&G HQ)

Life is short.  We all need to laugh.

Written about in several stories, (like one of my favorites here), I like making people laugh and I’m not above pulling a few pranks on people I like to get those laughs.  I would never prank someone that I do not like, that’s just mean and I’m not really into taking advantage of others.

A good laugh at the workplace brings people together.  I’ve always felt that and have experienced it many times over the years.  The Sanka gag (link) from my foundry days is one of my favorites.  Joe didn’t care for it at first, but later admitted that the joke was funny and in the aftermath, he, Rob and myself had an even better relationship.  In my experience, when people like, (or at least don’t hate), their workplace and the people there, they are more free to be themselves and therefore they are more productive.

So far I’ve shared stories about pranks at home, at Taco Bell (the famous burn ’em sauce) but none yet from my P&G days.  As I am now celebrating my first full year of being unemployed by good old Mother Procter, I’m thinking that today is the day for writing about some of those good times. Continue reading

Foundry Days, Walk Stealthily and Carry a Big Stick

Breakin the law, breakin the law

Breakin the law, breakin the law

I am in the mood today to write about another adventure from my days at the foundry.  From 1979 to 1987, I worked for a small family-owned iron foundry named The HP Deuscher Company.  Way ‘back in the day’, the city of Hamilton was quite the little industrial center.  There were plenty of manufacturing employers that supplied salaries capable of sustaining a middle income family.  Hamilton was full of middle income families where the man worked at one of these places and the woman ran the household.  Sadly, companies like Mosler Safe, Champion Papers, Fisher Body Plant of GM and Hamilton Foundry are no longer a massive presence.  But you readers all know this as it’s happened everywhere.  Until we rebuild our manufacturing infrastructure, it will be harder and harder to keep 45 million people in this country off of food stamps (yes, that is an accurate statistic). Continue reading

Bedtime on Prytania – Boys will be Boys

The Clan

The Clan

Growing up in a household of eleven people is a real challenge during certain parts of the day.  Mealtime was always interesting, but you already know that if you read the first epic adventure about our family (read me).  Our sleeping arrangements were interesting as well as the house we lived in had originally been built as only a two bedroom, two story.  Maybe it could be considered a three bedroom as there was also a tiny third bedroom upstairs at the rear and it could sleep one comfortably – we stretched it into sleeping two small ones of course.  In fact, when we first moved into that house, that small bedroom was my room.  It appears that it had once been used to sleep a visitor or extended family member too because it had a kitchen sink and cabinets built into it (leading to its smaller size originally).

As a family of eleven, the aforementioned tiny bedroom belonged to the two youngest girls, Lori and Janelle.  The middle bedroom was the largest sized and slept the remaining three girls, Bobbi, JoAnn and Toni.  That left us four boys for the forward bedroom facing the street.  Given we had 9 kids, an uneven number, this is the only arrangement that would work – the sex with 5 had to use the tiny bedroom and couldn’t be split up by the middle bedroom.  We boys each had our own single bed.  There was a set of bunk beds for Mike and Felix.  Steve and I shared a set of trundle-beds.  Continue reading

Practical Joking in High School Spanish Class

The infamous Senor Heidler (El Guapo)

The infamous Senor Heidler (El Guapo)

No high school teacher sticks out in my memory in detail like Mr. Heidler, better known as Señor Heidler, our Spanish teacher. This is because I had him as a teacher in all my three years at Taft Sr. High Scool, 1974-1976. I took Spanish in 9th grade at Wilson Jr High School and then decided to continue when I got to high school.

I liked Spanish. I liked the sound of the words. Spanish and I got along very well, probably because it follows rules very well. I loved mathematics for the same reason – learn the rules and you can perform any problem. Learn the rules of Spanish and you can conjugate most verbs and pronounce almost every word. So I got to sit in Señor Heidler’s classes for 3 years and I was a good language student. I’d have to say that I had the best command of Spanish in our class. This was to play out to my advantage one day in a funny practical joke.

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AD – After Dinosaurs, there were Jackalopes & Christmas Surprise

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My dad just loved to tease.  When we were little, he liked to play a question and answer game with us 3 boys.  An example:

Dad – Robbie, what is 12 times 12?  Me – 144.  Dad – right!

Dad – Steve, (Steve was only 5), what was Einstein’s theory of relativity…was it E=mc2?  Steve – yes.  Dad – very good, Steve!

Dad – ok Mike, your turn, (Mike was 4),…what famous President was the Washington Monument named after?  (pause)…..  Mike – you’re giving Steve all the easy ones!  Mike getting angry and upset…so Dad – ok, ok…here’s an easy one Mike.  What color is Washington’s white horse?  Mike – you said you would give me an easy one!!  At which point Mike’s face would get red with anger and he would storm out of the room and be upset for perhaps 10 minutes. Continue reading

What’s That Smell?

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Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s was wonderful.  Anything and everything that could harm a child and cause a legal suit today could be purchased by anyone at any age.  All you had to know was where to buy it and how you would get the money.  If we had access to an internet, I’m quite certain we would have tried to build a nuclear weapon.  One summer we figured out the ingredients for gunpowder.  Coincidentally, these same ingredients when mixed in a slightly different proportion will yield a great stink bomb.  At this point I must personally plead guilty for this particular kid-caper as it was my idea.  The additional culprits in this caper, (if I recall correctly), were Tom & Diane Mathews (read me).  There might have been a fourth involved, but I just can’t place him. Continue reading