Friday, January 13, 2006
Part III: The Beasties Trilogy
The Bug Races
On a long lonely night shift at the plant quite a few years ago. The Supervisor, Bronco Billy, J.D., and myself found ourselves bored out of our minds. One line was down for maintenance and the other three lines were running products that required about 10 minutes of work every hour. The plant had been like this for about a week so the floor was swept to gleaming perfection and all the equipment had been wiped clean.
Always adept at finding activities to cure boredom. We decided to gamble. This was not uncommon for the other three members of the crew were the type of guys that would bet on a piss ant pulling a freight train. The question was what to bet on.
The solution was obvious. The plant was plagued at the time by an infestation of beatles. I do not know the correct scientific name for this particular species but around here, they are called stinkbugs. They are a fairly large bug with a raised rear end and when threatened raise their hind quarters and emit a noxious fume. They are also rather speedy so naturally well suited for a little racing action.
We traced out a circle on the concrete floor about 6 foot across(you can figure out the approximate diameter yourself if you wish.) Then we went our seperate ways searching for the Seattle Slew of the insect world. We came back to the circle and marked our steeds with white out. All the bugs were placed in a coffee cup and brought to the middle of the circle. The cup was then turned upside down. After a few seconds wait, which gave the bugs a chance to gain their bearings, the cup was raised and the bugs were off.
J.D.'s bug won the first race, and the second race, and the third race. The rest of us then took a break to find a more competitive insect. As we were only playing for a quarter a race, I wasn't down much but that would change somewhat. None of the damned bugs that any of the other three of us could find could beat the freak of nature that J.D. had. Pretty soon, we were all down, after escalations of bets and a plethera of other bugs, by about 10 bucks apeice.
And then it happened, the supervisor had found what he thought was the makings of a god of bug racing. A bug so sleek and so fast that he had chased it for 50 yards just to make it his. The anticipation mounted, the supervisor had put a twenty dollar sidebet on the race, the cup was raised, and the supervisors bug just sat there as if it was dead. J.D.'s bug scampered to victory once more. The supervisor let out a mighty roar and leaped through the air and squashed J. D.'s bug deader than Elvis.
Bronco Billy and I managed to defuse the situation although J.D. had reached a state of pissed-off that I have rarely seen. After that we traded wins throughout the rest of the shift. In fact I think that I came out about a buck ahead. Not quite Vegas but still quite a bit of fun.
( In case any new readers want to check out a few more of the adventures of this boneheaded shift. You can check the October 12 post regarding 'Forklift Rodeo', or the October 17 post regarding 'Man's Best Friend' in the archives)