Saturday, August 23, 2008

Guessing Games I Answer

Here is the correct answer to what this electrical contraption is. It is a De Laval cow milking machine circa 1948 that was used on our dairy farm in Ohio. In the past you all must have milked cows or been to your local county fair because you all answered correctly. I must admit that Abe cornered the market on the most surprising comment with his guess and Wanda came in second. Now that you all are winners you can read this story about my husband Jack. This true story occurred to my Jack one hot night in late August of 1964. Read on to find out what happened to Jack.
A Hot Night In Missouri
(Alternate Story Titles At End Of Story)

There was a little boy and his name was Jackie Lee and everyone just called
him Jack. He was born in Missouri and went to school to learn the 3R's: read'in, riting and rithmetic. When he graduated from Hale High School he wanted to go to college and learn some more read'in, riting and rithmetic. So in the summers while in college he found a way to make money for some of his college expenses.

He got a job working the graveyard shift in a milk processing plant where he bagged the dried milk being processed and kept the milk tubes from clogging up with dried milk. One hot night in late August Jack was really really busy. Some of the milk tubes kept clogging up while other milk tubes kept pouring out dried milk for Jack to bag. This went on and on and on so Jack kept running around frantically clearing the tubes and bagging the milk. He was hoping the day shift worker would show up soon.

In the meantime he waited and waited and bagged and bagged and cleared and cleared but no one came to relieve him. He was the only worker in that section of the milk plant that night and the only phone in the milk plant was locked up in the plant office. What was our young Jack to do. He didn't know. Finally Jack got very very tired from working so hard all night long. He wanted to go home and go home now. He was not interested in dealing with the dried buttermilk that had caused the milk to fly out the tubes to the great beqond of Missouri. So Jack decided to just leave the plant and let the processed dried milk fly out into the town air. What was wrong with that? He was not at fault he thought. The problem was the machinery when switching from reguler dried milk to dried buttermilk and he was not the plant's machine mechanic to fix the problem.

And remember this was 1964 and the Environmental Protection Agency that Jack would later work for had not been created yet and a young Al Gore growing up in Tennessee had not dreamed up his save the earth campaign yet. Besides cellphones hadn't been invented yet either and remember the plant's one phone was locked up in the plant office which wouldn't open till nine A.M. And did I mention that Jack was mighty tired. So what would be the harm of leaving the job unattended while the dry milk escaped into the air above the town. No harm indeed Jack thought but little did Jack know about Murphy's Law that states that what could go wrong will go wrong and what has already gone wrong may go from bad to worse.

So Jack was just expecting a little milk white dust storm that morning. But suddenly all hell broke loose when the weatherman reported morning rains for the Hale and Clillicothe areas. Well, before Jack could blink an eye and jump in his sister's car and head home to the family farm a little black rain cloud formed above the town and Jack was like Winnie the Pooh with that rain cloud over his head. Excepting now there were two rain clouds: a little black rain cloud rolling into town and a big white milk cloud rolling out of town. The real trouble began when the two clouds met.

Soon rain started falling and falling fast. Then dry dried milk started falling and falling fast. And then wet dried milk started falling and falling fast. Soon it was a total white out. Milk was now coming down hard on everything. Milk rained down on houses. Milk rained down on cars. Milk rained down on dogs and cats. Milk rained down on people standing outside in their yards. Soon milk was running down the sidewalks and into the town gutters. Jack decided it definitely was now time to make a break for it so he got in his car and drove thru milk soaked streets to get out of town. He was so embarrassed but he didn't care. He was going to run away from that milk plant job and he did! The very next day Jack returned to his college studies at Central Missouri University. And he promised himself that he would study read'in, riting and rithmetic even harder his sophomore year so that when he was a grownup he would not have to earn his living by working in a dry milk plant. And he did study the 3R's very hard his sophomore year at old CMU and the next summer he found a different summer job. He learned to pump gas at the local gas station for folks sitting in their cars doing absolutely nothing. But that is another Jack story for another day. End of this Jack story. Alternate Story Title: The Day It Rained Milk

Second Alternate Story Title: Abe Lincoln has just suggested this: Missouri Milk

And let me report that you are now reading the revised edition of this true story. I must have listened to Jack over the years tell this story a million times but I must have tuned out while listening because I got a few details wrong. This did not occur in Hale, Missouri. It occured in Chillicothe, Missouri. Jack just explained that Hale, Missouri was way too small too have a milk processing plant. You had to go over to the big city: Chillicothe, Missouri to find a good paying summer job at $2.50 per hour! That's because it was a plant with a union to negotiate job salaries. And this occured between his freshman and sophomore year in college not right after graduation from Hale High School. Right out of high school Jack worked at the Hale Locker Plant cutting up and wrapping beef and pork for farmers who had their animals butchered at the Locker Plant. This must be true because Jack does know his cuts of meat.
And the get away car belonged to Jack's sister Judy and her husband Wayne.


Anonymous said...

That is really some tale. I can sympathize with Jack and his dilemma but would not know what to do myself. I say it is his supervisor's fault for letting him there by himself and for not showing him where to shut the machines off.

"Missouri Milk" makes it simple.

Thanks for the invite over to read the story. You all are great writers.

Melissa said...

Oh, how terrible for Jack! I wouldn't have a clue as to what to do. Great story!

Old Lady Lincoln said...

How horrible, but funny. Did anyone ever contact him about the mess? I hope it rained enough to get rid of all the milk, can you imagine if the sun came out and hit all that wet milky stuff, I bet it would smell really bad. LOL

Anonymous said...

I love it! This would make an awesome children's book Joann! Seriously! Maybe with an alternative ending.. LOL


How much fun would it be to read this story to Baby Jack? He'd love it.

For what it's worth, I like the title "The Day it Rained Milk" :)

fishing guy said...

J&J: I really enjoyed reading through this fun story. what was the worst thing that could happen, it just did.