So about three months ago I started working at WeownyouMart. After being in the South for six months without finding any steady work, I had taken a job delivering phone books. The company that was coordinating the delivery of said books had rented some office and warehouse space for about a month. The other business concern that had permanent residence in this warehouse was Owens Corning. They ship fiberglass in several different forms, mostly in tiny little slivers that the employees have to wear protective gear when filling boxes for shipments. The other way that they used to ship fiberglass in was in little green balls about the size of a ping pong ball. They apparently no longer ship fiberglass this way, but there are hundreds of these green balls all over the parking lot.
After extensive research – ten minutes on the intertoobs – I was unable to find any information on these fiberglass balls, but I can report several interesting facts based on empirical observations:
- Although these balls are green, the official color of Owens Corning is pink because of its pink fiberglass insulation.
- Owens Corning actually owns the trademark to the color pink, but only when it’s spelled PINK.
- Green fiberglass balls are fun to collect.
- They are even more fun to throw.
- Green fiberglass balls, when thrown at a reasonable velocity, can cause no small amount of pain.
- Green fiberglass balls can bounce high enough to catch, but they will break.
- A green fiberglass ball on the floor will greatly impede the progress of a pallet jack.
- A green fiberglass ball run over by a fork lift, however, will shatter in a dramatic fashion.
Getting back to the phone book delivery company, I delivered two routes for them and then found out that they needed some help in the office, so I talked to the supervisor and got 2½ weeks of steady work.
While I was working there I got to know the owners of the warehouse. A couple in what I would imagine to be in their late 60s, maybe 70s. Also helping out in the warehouse was their son-in-law Nigel. Nigel on at least one occasion self identified as a “redneck.” I had the duty at that point of informing him that Nigel was a very unlikely name for a redneck.
This will undoubtedly be the only time that I will actually use the word “redneck.”
Nigel told me that the gentleman who owns the warehouse has many interests along with the warehouse. He and a doctor friend have restored a waterwheel run mill that was originally built in 1898. Nigel told me that they ground “the best grits” at this mill. Now during my brief stay here in the south I have acclimated somewhat, for example I have grown quite fond of sweet tea – and by “tea” I mean iced tea, and by “sweet” I mean instant diabetic coma, and by “quite fond” I mean hopelessly addicted – but I have yet to develop an adequate understanding of the concept of grits, so I had to take Nigel’s word for it.
During my two routes delivering phone books I found myself far afield from the city where I currently live, and came across a few confederate flags, but just a few. However, when I was working in the office, we unknowingly sent a black woman on a route to a rural area where she was yelled at and actually threatened with guns. When I found this out I spent most of the rest of the day in stunned silence. I shouldn’t be surprised when I see ignorance and racism, but somehow I always am.
When I say I saw a few confederate flags, I meant actual flags flying. I have seen entirely too many on cars and trucks. I usually give the drivers of these vehicles my worst 20 yard stare. That’ll teach ‘em.
Anyway, toward the end of my temp job there at this warehouse, the lady who owns it told me that the local WeownyouMart would be remodeling and renting a part of their warehouse. So I started calling WeownyouMart and eventually was called in for an interview.
See? See how I brought it all full circle? That’s the mark of a great writer ladies and gentlemen.
Oh…and I lied about the fork lift running over the green fiberglass balls. I don’t know if they would actually shatter or not. I’ll try to find out if they ever let me run the fork lift, but they don’t. I can’t imagine why.
Coming up in Part 2: OK, but what does all this have to do with cake?