I told you a story about Big Jimmy Palmer giving the workers Feenamint Gum on the job one day and we lost the whole crew for that day. I’m not sure if anyone around, including those workers knew what had happened or if they thought they’d eaten some bad taco’s for breakfast.
Along about that same time period, while on the same job, Jimmy and I drove back and forth Marble Falls to Austin everyday. This was circa 1972. Since I was furnishing the pickup we figured Jimmy could do the driving. An arraignment that worked pretty well, especially for me.
It was really a cold day. In those days when we worked in concrete or mortar we didn’t have the good sense to wear rubber gloves so our hand were always cracked, bleeding and sore from the reaction with the cement. I alway kept some kind of manly hand lotion in the truck with me. When we left the job that day. Big Jim turned the defroster on to keep the ice from building up on the windshield. The lotion was so cold it wouldn’t come out of the tube, so I pitched it up on the dash to warm it up. We were coming all the way across Austin In rush hour traffic which was bad even back then. Just before we got ready exit off of I-35 at Ben White Blvd I remembered the lotion and got the tube down and squirted a little in my hand. It had not only warmed it up it had really made it hot.
Without giving it much thought, I eased the tube over and filled Jimmy’s right ear full of the hot lotion.
I guess I wasn’t considering that as hot as it was on my rough callused hands, it was going to feel a lot worse in his ear. He had just aimed the pickup at the exit ramp but when the heat of the lotion hit him he turned loose of the steer wheel and began flailing around trying to empty his ear of whatever was in it. The pickup, at a pretty good speed left the roadway and head up the grass median. All of this happened in just about three seconds time. He finally recovered enough to get the truck stopped without hitting anything.
A person has to know Big Jim to understand this, but he turned to me and said “Ron, why did you do that”?
To which I really didn’t have an answer.
It was one of those: I did it just because we had always done stuff like that to each other.