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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
NH Dave BS: Screw ups... (54* d) RE: BS: Screw ups... 27 Apr 06

Thank you, Bobert, for reminding me of a screwup of mine that was all my fault. During my early days in the military, we lived in a 55 foot mobile home, caravan for our British friends, which the Air Force towed from base to base for me. When I got back to New Hampshire, I had forgotten just how cold the weather could get, even on the seacoast, and neglected to insulate the 4" plastic pipe that connected the trailer to the sewer connection, so on one of the colder days, it froze up solid. Hot water down the bathroom sink merely came back up in the bottom of the tub, along with some black curds that even I wasn't going to investigate. Nothing would do but to get down underneath the tailer and see if I could warm the pipe enogh to thaw the icy bit. Now you Physics folks out there can tell me that it takes hundreds more units of heat to thaw a small bit of ice than it does to raise the same amount of water one degree of temperature, and I had known that back when I was in school too.

None the less, I bundled up in my AF issue parka, and parka pants, and got under the trailer with a butane torch. Well, as I said earlier, this pipe was plastic and I could see bits of it melting, and small bits of that starting to burn, so I could see that that wasn't going to work. Oh well, like Bobert, there was nothing for it except to disconnect the top end of the pipe from the trailer, and hope I could roll out of the way fast enough to miss most of the deluge . . . I didn't!

So, covered in muck, I removed the other end of the pipe from the sewer, knocked it about enough to get most of the ice out of the pipe, reconnected it, and checked things inside. Once I found that everything was working properly, I put my outside clothes into a water and smell proof bag, and took a long hot shower, paying particular attention to my fingernails and hands.

The next day, I took my bag of pungent outer clothes over to supply to trade them in for some clean ones. I was working on the B-47 bomber back then, which didn't have lavatory facilities other than a 5-6 gallon bucket which we called a honey bucket, that had to be downloaded down a 6' hatch to the ground for eventual dumping, so I knew I could claim that a honey bucket had overturned on me, and get some clean gear from the supply folks.

I walked in and told my sad made-up tale to the supply clerk, and he started to get me some new clothing. His supervisor, a mroe suspicious lot, decided that he had better check the bag to insure that it contained everything I claimed, before issuing me the new gear. I suggested tha he check it down by the end of the counter, but this only made him more suspicious, and nothing would do but he open it up right there.

Well, I stood back and motioned to the other clerk to do the same, as his boss started to open the waterproof bag. When he finally got it open, is was almost as if a small brown cloud had issued from the open end, because he closed it right up again, asked me weakly, exactly what I had in the sack, and issued it to me on the spot.


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