He’s A Lunch Box Scoundrel

One of the fellows I worked with had quite a reputation.  Oh, but some of the tricks he used to play on co-workers just for laughs!  Our lunch boxes used to be metal.  The top of the box was rounded and just the right size to put in a thermos.  (You may have seen pictures of them at the Smithsonian.)

This guy had a hand large enough to span the two snap locks on the side of the box.  As we were walking along he would surreptitiously reach over and snap the two latches open at the same time.  Of course everything in your lunch box would spill out on the ground.  This served to do two things, other than make you mad.  It would cause your thermos to break.  And it would disclose any items in your box you were trying to steal.

Another trick he had was if your hard hat fell off, he would reach over into the wire lube can and slap a handful of wire gel into the inside of your hard hat.  You soon learned to watch for him if your hat became misplaced.  It was also a habit to check the inside of your hard hat before putting it on.

On one job a crew from another trade was on the job-site.  They were using a brand new roll of vinyl rope.  He asked them if he could have about 10 feet of rope.  When they said yes, he walked to the center of the rope and acted like he was going to cut his 10 feet out of the middle.

It was necessary to keep your eyes open and watch for his tricks.

He was a strong husky man and was very valuable when it came to lifting or pulling.  I suppose that is why he could get away with his stunts.  (I never did hear that he got shot or stabbed.)

There was another old-timer who knew all the tricks.  He had the habit of kicking a hard hat like a football, clear out of sight, if it fell off someone’s head when they were working.  Working with men like that made you very cautious.  When you opened your lunch box you never knew what you would find.

And finally another guy I worked with fixed up his lunch box to have hot meals on the job.  He attached a short electrical appliance cord and plug to a heating element from an old electric iron, put a metal plate over it, and installed it in his lunch box.  He would put his sandwiches and whatever on top of it.  He would plug the cord into a live outlet about 15 minutes before lunch time.

He would eat a hot meal while the rest of us ate cold sandwiches.  I have heard that someone has now invented a lunchbox that heats in the summer and cools in the summer.

I have never seen one.

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