I was reminded of this tonight, this was maybe 1987 or so…
We’d been working in this boilerhouse for weeks, burning the old plant out in small enough pieces to take out the ordinary door up a flight of stairs that led to the street outside. They put the 15 foot high boilers in, then built the roof. That’s planning ahead that is.
It was a manky difficult job, by morning tea time the only clean bit was the skin around your eyes under the tinted goggles. And come lunch time we all slumped on the big tiled area at the front of the boilers, had a cuppa and ate our pieces, or went to the shops for the local exotica of a roll on sausage and a danish pastry. Being the apprentice I was usually at the recieving end of “fun”, such as when my legs went on fire from hot slag falling on them and I didn’t notice because it was so bloody hot anyway. The flames were up to my waist and the first I knew about it was the hysterical laughter of the assembled squad around me. Bastards. I spend the rest of the day looking like Robinson Crusoe . Bastards.
Next day Willie went to the shop to get two buttered rolls to have his regular lunch. He sat down, laid out his tea cloth, unfolded his Daily Record, put his rolls down, opened them out, brought out his two boiled eggs out and put them down then took out the bone handled knife from his kitchen that his misses would be looking for all day. He held an egg in his hand over a roll and brought the knife down to break the shell. He did that, also raw yolk and white sprayed all over him and his immediate surroundings much to his surprise and the amusment of all. He held his position in astonishment and gradually cleaned himself down with a puzzled look. He shook his head and took out the other egg and the unsplattered roll. Down came the knife, Splutch! Same again. “Whit, my boiled egg?!” I joined in the general merriment which is always greater when it’s at someone elses expense.
Willie stood up dripping egg and said “I couldnae have lit the gas this morning when I boiled them”. A stunning insight which has remained with me.
Of course I gave him back his two boiled eggs that I’d switched for the raw ones in the morning.