…George Gallant was a Maritimer. His diction was slightly clearer than the other Maritimers I met over the last few years.
“Hi George. Nice to meet you” I said, wondering why there were so many Maritimers here in the city.
“Okay,” he said, shaking my hand. Without losing a moment he continued on:
“Letter be dere. Aye, letter rip” And with that he went over to a control panel and punched a few green buttons. Green for go, red for stop. How do they know I’m not colour blind I thought.
“If you was coloured blind” George said, “the greens is always on top, da reds at da bottom.” No his diction was okay, grammar not so good.
All of a sudden this huge monstrosity of a machine came to life. At one end by a set of stairs, or ladder, was a huge hopper, which was very wide at the top, narrow at the bottom. George was yelling now.
“Take dis here bag of corn meal, corn mix and drop her in da opper. You need about ten bags in”
I helped him here as there were a stack of bags on a platform at the top of the stairs just below the hoppers, er opper’s opening. Once that was done George then descended the stairs, went to another control panel and struck one green button. Whoosh, was all I heard, then orange and yellow flames contained within a large square shaped furnace came to life.
“Don’t touch dat” he said. “Or you will be crying for yer mommy and cursing the daze you was born”
Okay, I get it. The furnace.
“Now we has some time but when da heat heats up da corn meal into da corn mush or almost like a liquid corn soup – kinda like da corn chowder I gets back home I tinks. But don’t taste it or she’ll burn your mouth off to the devils lair I tink, or so my brudder tells me. My brudder Henry works here in shipping now. At night. He used to run dis machine.
“Great” I thought
“So now we attached dis black wheel to dis shaft and attach dis blade to da side of the wheel on dis crankshaft, like so. You have to do dis with every batch, to clean her off like a gutted cod, and sterilized her like to ward off those nasty gastro-intestinal critters.”
Oh I knew about them alright. I was fascinated by what I was seeing and what he was telling me. Who on earth would have thought of a machine like this? Whoever it was is probably hold up in some insane asylum I thought.
“Yes bye,” he continued. “Dis here black wheel here, you will notice, has 10 small holes bored tru it. It will remain stationary but dis here black blade here will spin around da outside of the wheel and cut off the nibblies as dey came out from da udder side. De udder side is as hot as my ole lady’s temper but on dis here side as cold as my sister’s embrace.”
“So what are we making here” I yelled
“Cheezies” he yelled back to me, spittle flying everywhere
Cheezies? Good gawd I thought. What are my friends going to think?
“Where do you work John?”
“Humpty Dumpty potato chips” I say
“Doing what?” they ask
“Making Cheezies” I say.
“Oh” killing themselves laughing. I was doomed. Back to George…