NirvanaPeace

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Ole Stumpy

Old Stumpy
The year was 1998 and I was working at a tank farm on mile 199 of the Intercoastal Waterway. The tank farm was on a 740 acre island at the north end of Grand Lake in southern Louisiana about two miles east of the Mermentau River. The company I worked for at the time had transferred me there a couple of years earlier. I was on the gravy-train with the biscuit wheels, the island was covered with wildlife and the boss allowed us to hunt with bow and arrow. (Firearms were prohibited on company property). We put up corn feeders to bring in the deer and hogs. We went fishing whenever we wanted, there were lots of catfish around the island. One day I noticed an 8 foot alligator in the outfall pond, it was a small pond where the warm water from the cooling tower dumped. I told the guys about the 8 ft gator (would have been 9 or more but the flat part of his tail was missing) so we all started feeding him scraps, fish heads, etc. After a while Stumpy became fairly brave and would swim up to the bank and wait for us to drop the scraps on the bank. I started holding the food until he opened his mouth then I would toss it in and whomp! his jaws would slam shut. After a few weeks of this I was able to stop 10yards short of the water and Stumpy would crawl to me and stop about three feet away and open his mouth, and I would toss in some dog food or scraps. One day a couple of pencil-necks (engineers) from the Houston office showed up to draw some pictures of our gas system. They had on low-topped shoes and short-sleeved shirts and I decided to mess with them a little bit. I told them it wasn’t a good idea to walk around the island without snakeproof boots, they seemed to think that I was bullshitting them and guffawed at me, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “well lets go then.” I had a devious plan. I took them to the start of the pipeline at the edge of the property where the meter runs were, they took a few notes then we headed for the inlet scrubber where the liquids were separated from the gas. About half way I stopped to talk with them about our gas system, keeping their backs to the pond about 15 feet away. I saw stumpy coming across the water like a torpedo. A few seconds later when he was about 3 feet behind them I pointed between them and said, “watch out for that gator.” They grinned, but looked back just in time to see Stumpy open his giant mouth. They ran in place for a few seconds and left in a flurry of clipboards and paper. Thought I was going to die, I picked up their clipboards and papers before stumpy started eating them. When I walked over to the pencil necks, they were pretty nervous and scanning the ground for alligators. I told them gators are easy to see, but they had better keep an eye out for the cottonmouth water moccasins. It wasn’t long and they had enough drawings and were ready to go. While climbing into the boat they said that they would recommend me for hazard pay when they got back to Houston. The boat left and I headed out to the pond with two helpings of dog food.
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October 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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