Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Whiz Tales, #3
Lucky you-- not one student showed up for my sixth period Physical Chemistry class. It's good to know that as much as they've failed in the school system, they still have the good sense to cut class on a gorgeous Chicago afternoon.
Okay, Warning: this is not a tale for the faint of heart. Don't worry-- nobody gets their eye put out-- but it's not for the queasy.
When I was a young guy, before I was a teacher, I worked for a while as a construction worker for a guy I knew through college friends. His name was Dan-- not to be confused, though, for the Dan in story #1. We'll call him by his old college nickname, Psycho.
Psycho owned a small construction business. He spent a lot of his day frantically running from place to place in his little Toyota van, from jobsite to jobsite, supervising, working and doing estimates for new business. I don't recall him eating much-- he seemed to be fueled by Marlboro Light cigarettes, and 7-11 Big Gulps of Mountain Dew.
Psycho was a really nice guy. He was also disorganized. Maybe the most disorganized person I've ever met, at least until I taught high school students. Since he was constantly rushing from late appointment to another, smoking his Marlboro Lights and chugging down Big Gulps, his Toyota Van usually looked as if a reconstruction project were going on in a 19 year old guy's dorm room.
One day, my friend Garrett and I were running with him to a job site, and for some reason Dan felt compelled to tell us the story of how he'd been stuck in traffic with a full bladder, and had used an empty Big Gulp cup to relieve himself.
I think you all see what is coming.
A few days after, he told us, he was racing to a job, in his usual haste, and of course grabbed the wrong cup and took a big chug, giving a new meaning to "big gulp."
From then on, whenever we were running into 7-11 to get something, we'd ask Psycho if he wanted anything-- maybe his special brand of cola.