Sucking on Tailpipes

So for the last little bit on Rush Limbaugh I’ve been listening to Jonathan from Rockwell Tx. (outside Dallas) who picked up a broken compact florescent in a storeroom even though Rush told him the Mercury was toxic.  Rush praised him for his self sacrifice like he had fallen on a grenade.

He felt faint and headachy so his boss filled out an accident report and called the (offsite) RN who had him 911 the paramedics that sent him to the emergency room where after a few hours and some Tylenol the headache went away (but make sure you keep monitoring says Rush).

The Loading Dock I worked on was roofed by reinforced concrete decking on steel beams all coated with spray asbestos insulation to meet fire code.  I smoked Kools at the time and we ignored the “No Smoking” signs because hey- it’s the Loading Dock and we make our own rules. (Security guy was a smoker too, which didn’t hurt).

Is this bad?  Let me tell you what we did for amusement.

Our store occupied 2/3rds of a former retail space and they just left the basement filled with all kinds of fixtures (which we stole) and other exotic (not meaning “African Americans” Pat) leftovers which included boxes and boxes of standard florescents which it would have been unprofitable to pay us to check whether they still worked.

So instead we stood around on our smoking breaks and played Jedi light saber with them or pitched them into the Dumpster like spears.


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  1. Won’t be here long but I though I’d check in.

  2. Beginning of a story or a screenplay.

    • Gooch on June 13, 2008 at 9:03 pm
    • brobin on June 13, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    every city kid must attend when growing up.  The smoking of Kools or Marlboros was optional.

  3. It’s a wonder any of us survived childhood (emphasis on the “hood”).

    • RiaD on June 14, 2008 at 12:40 am

    was when a tornado flung a 4 ft. fluorescent so hard it stuck 3.5 ft of it into red mud….unbroken!!!

    • geomoo on June 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    We were showing Chariots of Fire, and I invited a few of my high school students to come as my guests.  My family was also there, so I had several witnesses to the single most embarrassing event in my life.

    On the old projectors, after one reel finished I would rewind it and store it in its canister.  We always began our showing with a short reel of previews, but before the previews was a stupid, dull, embarrassingly bad intro with two lighters talking to each other saying, “Don’t flick your bick.”  (Anyone remember that?)

    Near the end of my shift, when the movie was almost done, I would usually alter my mood a bit.

    Anyway, the last reel of Chariots of Fire was about the same size as the previews reel, unfortunately for me.  That emotionally powerful movie has a clear climax in which our hero wins the race, complete with that famous theme song at its most fortissimo and crowds carrying the victorious athlete around the stadium.  Only for my viewing audience, precisely at the moment of triumph, as the music reached its most dramatic, came the familiar “Don’t flick your bick.”

    I stared at the screen probably a full minute, unwilling to believe what had just happened.  It was going to take me several minutes to rewind the correct reel, change reels, and fire up the second projector.  Then I accepted my horrible fate and sprang into action the way only a panicked, humiliated, completely toasted projectionist can. As I rushed around the little booth, I bumped into 5 or 6 fluorescent tubes, all of which hit the floor and exploded, sending reverberations into the theater below, un-needed confirmation that matters were completely out of control up above.

    It’s still painful to remember.  And it was a lot worse than the telling reveals.

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