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Rated: E · Short Story · Entertainment · #2170761
Here are nine chapters from my 3rd E-Book, that will bring everyone plenty of good laughs
Just another Small Bang

         There have really been a lot of co-workers who wanted to see yet a third book written and published about the former Widget factory. After I wrote my first two E-Books "The Small Bang Theory" and "Echo's of a Small Bang" I was a little skeptical about starting a third book. However, stories did keep coming in with more of Stinky and Little Henry's adventures that still had plenty of good laughs. So what the heck, let's go ahead and start our third journey with Little Henry's many different back up plans.

         Just like in the past Little Henry was just aimlessly hanging around in the front of his house. So as little Henry's buddy Stinky was walking on by he felt he had to ask, "Why are you waiting around here Henry?" Little Henry said, "I'm waiting for my family to get here from out of town." Stinky smiled and said, "They have already landed Henry." Little Henry smiled back and replied, "Very funny, that saying is as old as back in the day when Pluto was just a pup." Stinky said, "Did you go out last night to eat at that new restaurant?" Little Henry replied, "Yup!" Stinky said, "How is that new restaurant?" Little Henry said, "I had a very interesting waitress who was always there for me." Stinky said, "How's that Henry?" Little Henry answered, "She told me that she'll always be with me in spirit, even when she's off somewhere else arguing with another customer or waitress." Stinky said, "Interesting waitress, and how is your family getting here?" Little Henry said, "They are actually supposed to arrive really soon by car. At least that is plan A." Stinky said, "What if plan A doesn't work?" Little Henry said, "If plan A doesn't work then there are another 25 letters to work with."

         The conversation continued with Stinky saying, "I would be very interested in hearing about all of these different back up plans." Little Henry said, "Let's just wait a moment for plan A to work." Stinky said, "Alright then, I'll wait here with you Henry." Little Henry said, "Why do you want to hang around here Stinky?" Stinky said, "I want to meet your sister, and see what she looks like." Little Henry said, "My sister looks just like me, but she doesn't have a mustache." Stinky replied "That's too much information Henry." So our two heroes stood patiently on the sidewalk looking up street in the horizon for a familiar car.

         After waiting for a while Stinky finally had enough of the nonsense and said, "Henry it's now time for one of your other 25 brilliant plans. What exactly are they?" Little Henry said, "We saw plan A already isn't working so well. So plan B is being here for them when they pulled up in their car. Plan C is calling them up to see where the heck they are at. If they don't answer any of their cell phones then plan D is dealing with waiting a little bit longer for them."

         Gathering his thoughts Stinky said, "Okay Henry I get it. You have made up a plan to go with every single letter of the English alphabet." Little Henry said, "That is correct." Stinky said Okay then what's your plan F, and plan G?" Little Henry said, "Plan F is focusing on their arrival, and plan G is getting my family here at a good time," Stinky said, "Very good then. What's your plan L, M, and N going to be?" Little Henry said, "Plan L is looking around back for them. Plan M is making sure that I didn't miss them, and plan N is never giving up."

         With no end in sight to this interesting talk Stinky replied, "This is unbelievable. Okay Henry what is Plan P?" Little Henry said, "Plan P is peeking around the other corner to see if they have arrived yet." Stinky said, "What's your plan S Henry?" Little Henry said, Plan S is staying around until they get here," Stinky said, "Don't tell me plan T is for the Twilight Zone television show." Little Henry said, "No." Stinky said alright what is plan W?" Little Henry said, "Plan W is waiting some more." Stinky said, "It will be interesting to hear what you came up with for plan X." Little Henry said, "I couldn't figure out one for good old plan X."

         Finally taking a deep breath Stinky exclaimed, "Then I guess you couldn't figure out one for plan Z either Henry." Little Henry said, "No plan Z was easy to figure out." Stinky said, "Okay Henry what was your plan Z?" Little Henry said, "After the first 25 different plans didn't work out plan Z was simply to go inside, lay down on the bed, and catch some Zzz's, because by now they aren't showing up." Stinky said, "That's okay Henry. After thinking about it I really didn't want to see your identical twin sister with or without a mustache."

Time Brings Humor to Everything

         One thing can be said about a lot of these true stories, and that is it's certainly true that these are stories. My experience working at the good old Widget factory is a lot like what a geologist does, and that is I won't take anything for granite around here. Of course geologists also like to listen to rock music, and I do too, so maybe we have a lot in common after all. Some of the things that you can't take for granite around here is that you can't loan Little Henry any money, because he always gets amnesia when it comes time to pay it back. Lately, Little Henry has been concerned about if his pet turtle loses it's shell, is his turtle going to be naked or homeless. Then again he has also been concerned about his reflection staring back at him a lot now too. Along with Little Henry there's also a plethora of other activities happening right here at the widget factory.

         For example the Widget factory uses old pallets to put their widgets on. These pallets come from all over the place, and they have all kinds of trash and debris stowed away in them. Some of these stowaways are alive as Meech discovered one night. What happened to Meech that night wasn't funny at the time, but she can laugh at it now years later. Usually inside of the pallets you find a bunch a trash, like paper and old empty widget packages. This pallet was different and there was a nest with a mother and her baby rats inside of it. The rats got on Meech when she tried to stack the pallets up, and that's where the action began. As the screaming started it certainly wasn't funny then, but Meech is laughing about it now.

         One day while working on his car Little Henry got stuck under his car when his pony tail got somehow twisted around one of the creeper wheels. With nobody around to help he had to fend for himself. Little Henry had to cut off his pony tail, and pink scrunchy with an old pair of wire snips that he had in a compartment on the side of his creeper, so that he could get out from under the car. So from that day forward he never grew his pony tail back. That wasn't funny to little Henry back then, but it certainly is now.

         Another one of my very interesting, and unique co-workers is my little buddy Udo. On a cold autumn day Udo also wasn't laughing much when he got locked out of his car when his car battery died. He couldn't open his door using the car's remote control. So Udo decided to walk to a store about a half a mile away and buy himself a Slim-Jim to break back into his car. After he returned with the brand new Slim-Jim someone explained to Udo that he had to do was use his key to get into his car. Using his key is what Udo chose to do in the end, and now Udo even sees the humor in this little story.

         Mr. Know-it-all wasn't laughing when he took out a two foot section of a water line with a forklift. The dirty nasty smelling water spraying out of the broken pipe was so bad that it flooded out a good portion of the warehouse, maintenance shop, rest rooms, and the water even started flowing out onto the Widget packaging floor. Everything had to be shut down for hours on end, while a big clean up took place. So what does Mr. Know-it-all do to add fuel to the fire? Instead of admitting that he made a simple mistake he files a complaint. I doubt that will go very far and float with the management. I thought I would put the floating part with management in this story since it involved so much water. It wasn't funny to him then, but the really funny question that all of his co-workers still have is what the heck does he have to complain about! It will probably never be funny to Mr. Know-it-all.

         Finally there's the story about Stinky being invited to come on down to the H.R. department for a little talk. Everybody including Stinky himself was very curious about what that invitation was all about. It turned out that Stinky's fellow employees have identified him as a powerful source of methane gas. His fellow co-workers say that a NASCAR pit crew doesn't pour out as much gas as Stinky does. So the company thought that if they could somehow capture this free source of energy, then they could maybe possibly power parts of the Widget company. Stinky couldn't believe his ears when they ask for Stinky's suggestions. Stinky stood up and stormed out the door mumbling some nonsense about you can teach a man to fish, bla bla bla, but you can't teach a man to throw a fish back, bla bla bla. When he got back out onto the Widget company plant floor everybody was laughing at him. It turns out that it was all just one big practical joke that everybody planned in secret, and in the end, unlike Mr. Know-it-all, Stinky even had to laugh.

Hurricane Ready

         There were actually 21 names total on the 2017 national hurricane list, which turned out to be a very active hurricane season over the past few years. Especially when it came to the names of these super storms that some of my co-workers also have. That is unless your name is Ammanda, and spelled with two M's, however there were plenty of other co-workers who's name made the big list this time around. First on that list there was hurricane Irma, which is actually Boo Boo's given birth name. Nobody will ever argue the fact that Boo Boo drives a forklift like an out of control category five hurricane. Especially when Boo Boo is running to push a big red emergency stop button after she drops an entire dumpster into a running trash compactor. The next storm, named after a co-worker, that came along was good old hurricane Nate. However the real life Nate was especially quiet about his hurricane namesake, hoping that it wouldn't end up being a big news story in reality.

         Jose was also on the list, but he wasn't the least bit happy about that. He says that he never gave the creators of this list his permission to use his name, and they should remove his name immediately. Jose was just being difficult and it's not like he's the only person in the world with that name. Finally on this famous list there was hurricane Tammy. The real life Tammy Whammy, unlike Nate or Jose, was actually very excited to finally see that her name made the official national hurricane list. She waited along time and for many long years for this big opportunity in life, however sadly it doesn't look like there will be enough hurricanes this year to get to her name on the list. One name that didn't make the hurricane list was that of little Henry. However little Henry never had a problem with making an appearance just like a hurricane.

         Speaking of little Henry whenever he's busy now he just simply tells people, "I'm working here!" After all nobody would want to interfere with that sort of thing in life. Little Henry is simply just making widgets, and it's not like he's involved with trying to discover a cure for cancer. Getting out to the job on time for little Henry is another story. It seems that little Henry has to stop and talk to every single person on his way out to the job. It's just like he's falling out of a tree and hitting every single branch on his way down to the ground. One day little Henry told everybody that he finished his job in record breaking time. What actually happened was it turned out that the battery in his watch died and all it was is his watch stopped working. A lot of people really wonder how little Henry got this job. For little Henry to get this job, instead of a traditional interview, little Henry simply had to complete an obstacle course in a very gracious set amount of time. To prepare for this obstacle course little Henry watched American Ninja Warrior twice a week on television, which believe it or not wore him out.

         Short people like little Henry are always cranky when they are hungry. It's most likely because they are closer to the ground. Lunchtime is always interesting at the widget factory. Some folks brown bag it with a bagged lunch of a couple of PB&J or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There are other co-workers who bring children's meals like a happy meal with smiley faced potato bites. You'll find those in the break room who are eating genuine Texas toast made by the New York bakery for lunch, which is really crazy. One thing you never want to do is ask little Henry what he's having for lunch. The last time I asked him he said he was eating imported food. It turned out that it was nothing more then imported Italian brick fired pizza crust, which was how the manufacturer worded it.

         One interesting past-time that little Henry likes doing is removing all of the labels off of the can goods when he first gets home from the grocery shopping. I made the mistake one day of asking him why he does that, and he told me so that it would be a surprise what he is going to have for dinner that night. Little Henry said he also likes to guess what he's going to have for dinner. After all just like a broken clock even little Henry can be right twice a day. In closing another thing that you never want to ask little Henry is if he has a cold. The last time I asked he responded why. When I said it was because his nose was running, he quickly replied that his nose can't run because it's attached to his face.

The Continuing Cap Story

         The stories never seem to stop coming in at work even as the Widget factory winds down and prepares to put locks on their doors. The same seems to be true about those magical little Coca-Cola bottle caps with the tiny little my-coke reward codes tucked away inside of them. This story is 100% true and I'm simply going to use nick-names here to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Water Bottle is a fanatic when it comes to collecting all of those coke rewards caps, and he will do just about anything to get all of the caps that he can get his little grubby hands on. This includes drinking out of two Coca-Cola bottles at one time just to get more caps.

         Now there are plenty of other workers at the Widget factory who have noticed this phenomenon happening with Water Bottle's never ending hunt for bottle caps. One of these co-workers just so happens to be the Undertaker whose nick-name comes from a wrestler. Undertaker is not necessarily a great wrestler of any kind, he just resembles the splitting image of this famous wrestler. What the Undertaker discovered one day at work was that Water Bottle had talked a lot of his co-workers into doing the dirty work, and collecting the bottle caps for him. The Undertaker noticed that these same co-workers would leave the bottle caps for Water Bottle at collection points in common areas. After seeing all of this a light bulb went off inside of the Undertaker's head so bright that the captain of the Titanic would have been able to have seen that ice berg.

         The Undertaker began getting to all of those collection points in the common areas just ahead of Water Bottle, and gathering up all of those Coke caps first. The Undertaker however wasn't redeeming the caps in at Coca-Cola for rewards like hats and T-shirts. He was swapping the caps back to Water Bottle, and battering for various goods and services. The Undertaker was trying to quit smoking, and he didn't buy cigarettes anymore. So when the Undertaker had a craving for a smoke he would simply trade coke caps back to Water Bottle for cigarettes. Water Bottle is so tight that you can hear him squeak when he walks, and he wouldn't give the Undertaker a light. The Undertaker didn't have any problem with this, and would also trade Water Bottle Coke caps for a light. Not a bad way to support a habit.

         This method of bartering didn't just stop with just cigarettes. One of Water Bottle's job responsibilities was to relieve the Undertaker for breaks on the machine that he was operating. Like I pointed out the Water Bottle is as tight as the seal on a zip lock bag, and he wouldn't even give the Undertaker one extra second on his much deserved breaks. The Undertaker didn't have a problem with this either, because he would trade Water Bottle his own caps back for longer time on his breaks. This also gave the Undertaker more time to enjoy those cigarettes that he got for free from Water Bottle. This was an absolutely brilliant plan on Undertaker's behalf.

         This all went on for a long time. But all good things must eventually come to an end, and so did this method of bartering. Water Bottle never really did find out. What happened was some other worker's in the Widget factory witnessed all of this happening. They first told the Undertaker that the caps were being collected for Water Bottle, however the Undertaker simply fired back at them that the caps were being placed in a common area for anyone. So they told Water Bottle about it. Now naturally Water Bottle was upset about getting his own caps back in return for cigarettes and services. He even approached the Undertaker and told him Dude that's messed up, but to no avail.

         A matter of fact telling the Undertaker about it was just like throwing gasoline onto the fire. The Undertaker still had a bag of Coke caps left. The Water Bottle might not have been accepting coke caps anymore from him, however the Undertaker was going to make Water Bottle work for every single one of those coke caps. We all have a long walk down a hallway out to a parking lot everyday after working at the Widget factory. So night after night the Undertaker made sure that he got in front Water Bottle on the walk out, and dropped a coke cap about every five foot so Water Bottle had to bend down to get those caps. It was almost like a daily Easter egg hunt just for Water Bottle. Water Bottle finally did get all of his caps back, and he tried to tell off the Undertaker, however he was just told to go and eat a sandwich.

Little Henry's thinking about a job change

         Everybody at break time gathered all around little Henry to hear all about his vacation last week to Mount Rushmore. They couldn't wait to see all of the pictures. As the pictures were handed around Sparky finally said, "All these pictures are of just a big old rock. What happened to the pictures of the presidents on Mount Rushmore Henry?" Little Henry spoke up and said, "These are the pictures of Mount Rushmore." Stevie said, "It's just a big old rock Henry!" Little Henry said, "These are pictures of Mount Rushmore. I went to the back side of Mount Rushmore. It was easier to park, tickets were cheaper, and there wasn't much of a crowd." Both Stevie and Sparky said, "You got to be kidding, and you paid for tickets too?" Break time was over and everybody was happy that they could get away from little Henry.

         The truth many times can be much funnier than fiction, which is truly the case with a lot of these stories. Especially when it comes to telling a story about our buddy little Henry. Little Henry keeps an empty Walmart bag in locker. This is in case one day he quits or gets fired, so that he can put all of his personal effects in the bag for when he gets walked out. He calls this his bye bye bag. Little Henry says he starting to get a little bit burned out from working at the Widget factory. He decided one day that he would be a really good Santa Claus. It might only be a seasonal job, but he figured he could also do other gigs throughout the year like the Easter Bunny, a leprechaun on St. Patrick's day, the great pumpkin on Halloween, Uncle Sam on July 4th, and Cupid on Valentine's day.

         What had sparked this idea into Henry's head was he saw a lot of the bad Santa Clauses all around town. He saw a Santa Claus who just couldn't stop talking on his cell phone to save his life, even with a kid on his lap. He saw another Santa Claus who wasn't wearing his red cap. He figured that particular Santa Claus either lost his hat somewhere or forgot his hat all together. Either way little Henry didn't feel this was the right attire for a Santa Claus. Little Henry saw a Santa who was too busy jotting down numbers with his number two pencil on his Sudoku puzzles to be bothered with children. He even saw a couple of Santa Clauses who were coming out of bars in the broad day light. It looks like Billy Bob Thornton wasn't the only bad Santa doing that sort of thing. Little Henry thought this was really a sad time for Santa Clauses and that he could make a big difference doing a much better job. I'm not so sure about that with Little Henry's track record, especially after seeing him one day trying to clear snow with a leaf rake, and when that didn't work shooting water on the snow with a water hose. For now little Henry is just going to have to be satisfied with making widgets for the time being.

         Business was a little bit slow at the widget factory when Stinky walked up on little Henry. Stinky noticed that his buddy little Henry was walking around today carrying a extra pair of socks in his back pocket. Curiosity really got the best of Stinky, and he just had to ask, "Henry why are you carrying those socks around with you today?" Little Henry replied, "After work I'm going to stop by and play some mini golf." Stinky shrugged his shoulders and said, "What's that got to do with those socks in your pocket?" Little Henry smiled and said, " I have the socks just in case I get a hole in one on mini golf course." Stinky shook his head and said, "Alright Henry you got me."

         Stinky then thought for a moment and said, "Okay Henry on a different topic are you still considering another job field?" Little Henry replied, "Oh yes!" Stinky said, "Let's head on up to that state of the art company computer room and look for some other job positions here at the widget factory." Little Henry said, "I can't right now I'm busy." Stinky said, "Why? I'm looking at you right now, and you aren't doing anything." Little Henry said, "I already looked into the computer room and all of the seats are all full." Stinky said, " I know that you are lying six ways to Sunday, and that you did no such thing." Now let me take one second to explain that little Henry dyes his hair a darker color, and puts it back into a pony tail. He has had grey hair since his high school days. It wasn't unusual back then for a newly transferred students to his school to come up to little Henry, and ask him for directions to their classrooms thinking that Henry was a teacher. This always made little Henry feel so much bigger then he really was. After Stinky's comment Little Henry disgustedly flipped his dyed pony tail saying, "Fine! lets go."

         The two of them made their way up to the computer room, and found 10 empty seats waiting on them in a completely empty room. Stinky smiled and said, "Pick a seat Henry." Henry grumbled as he sat down and started logging in on one of the 10 empty unused computers. Stinky said, "Oh stop your grumbling Henry. Why don't you just build a bridge Henry, and get over it." Little Henry angrily replied, "Very funny Stinky." Stinky smiled letting go of some uncomfortable gas that was in his stomach and said, "If you keep it up Henry we will have to take away your man card." Within seconds little Henry could smell the horrible stench that Stinky created on the other side of the small computer room. It was one of the worst smells to date that Henry had ever been subjected to. Little Henry couldn't take it no more and yelled, "We need a medic in here. There's something seriously wrong going on inside of this man in here."

The Little Blue Easter Egg

         Little Henry didn't just get to be weird with age, it all started off a long time ago in his youth during his younger years. A long long time ago little Henry was really little, and his little buddy Stinky was nowhere as stinky as he is today. Little Henry and Stinky grew up together in the same neighborhood and went to the same schools together. They both started their first day of school at the newly built Gunpowder elementary school way out in the boon docks of the county. That first year they spent just about as much time in the classroom together as they did the principal's office. That first year of school sailed on by for the two buddies, and before they knew it Easter time rolled around.

         The two boys did everything together. This included every activity from opening Christmas presents to Easter egg hunts. As every Sunday both families went to church together, and on this particular Easter Sunday there was the annual Easter egg hunt prior to the church service. When the Easter egg hunt was concluded both of the boys got oversized Easter baskets. They could look at them, but they couldn't start eating any candy out of the baskets until after church. The smart set of parents weren't going to take any chances with little Henry or stinky having a sugar infused rush going on in the middle of a church service.

         Dressed in their Sunday best both Stinky and little Henry had planned and conspired to go to the restroom at the same time, and play hooky from church. Once out of the eyesight of their parents they ran past the restrooms and straight out the back door. Both of the boys ended up out in the parking lot, and neither of them knew what they were going to do. Then it happened. Both boys saw an elderly man in a nice suit and a top hat over by some bushes on the side of the parking lot. They saw him reach into one of the bushes and pull something out. He then motioned to the boys to come on over.

         Stinky and little Henry ran on over to the gentleman as fast as they could. When they got over to him they were both out of breath. He smiled and said, "I found a little blue Easter egg, that someone must have lost during an Easter egg hunt." The boys watched as he slowly opened his hand to reveal a small lightly colored blue egg. Little Henry said, "It's one of those little candy whoppers in the form of a candy covered chocolate Easter Egg. It must have been missed by everybody in the Easter egg hunt" Stinky said, "I don't know about that Henry." Little Henry said, "I know it is. I have a few of them in my Easter basket next to my Brach's jelly beans, and Little Peeps. A matter of fact Hershey's makes those little candy eggs."

         The two boys argued back and forth for a few minutes while the gentleman looking confused still held onto the little blue egg. Stinky was convinced that it wasn't a piece of candy and little Henry was positive that it was a candy egg. It seemed that nothing was going to stop this argument, when all of a sudden little Henry grabbed the little blue egg from out of the man's hand and threw it into his mouth. Both the surprised man and stinky stared at little Henry as he crunched it up between his teeth. Little Henry knew right away when he bit into the crunchy little egg that it wasn't candy. Stinky said, "Well Henry, how did it taste?" Little Henry replied, "It was slimy, silky and buttery with a crunchy shell on it. That wasn't candy." The old man said, "That's because it was a robin's egg you silly boy." Stinky was laughing as little Henry was spitting it right back out as quickly as he could into the bushes. The action was really getting ready to start as both sets of parents came out the back door of the church in search of their children.

Little Henry's Namesake

         It was first break at the Widget factory and little Henry was already seated in the break room chowing down on a breakfast combination of hot oatmeal and bread butter pickles. The rest of the Widget factory employees gave little Henry a wide birth as they filed into the break room. Stinky however sat down at the table directly across from little Henry and said, "Why are you eating old people's food Henry?" Little Henry looked up after swallowing a mouth full of oatmeal and said, "I like this type of food Stinky, and I'm not old." Stinky just shook and snatched up a bread & butter pickle up and threw it into his mouth. Little Henry yelled, "Keep your dirty hands out of my pickle jar Stinky!"

         Next Stevie sat down throwing a big box containing a 3 in 1 indoor grill on the table in front of little Henry and Stinky. Stinky looked at the grill and said, "Is this what you won for getting 40% of the questions correct and winning trivia Thursday today?" Stevie smiled and said "Yup, and 40% was a better score then the rest of you all got right on the trivia test today." Little Henry said, "But that test today was on the solar system, and it was hard." Stevie said, "I still got the most correct answers." Stinky said,"All you did Stevie was circle the first multiple choice answer on each question." Stevie said, "And I won!" Stinky said, "I wanted to win too, but Henry kept giggling and repeating the word Uranus."

         After everyone calmed down, Stevie said, "Did you finally get a new dog yesterday Stinky from the doggie jail?" Stinky said, "Yes." Little Henry said, "What's a doggie jail?" Stinky said, "It's the dog pound on the West side of town you pickle head." Little Henry said, "OH." Stinky said, "There's some tough dogs in that doggie jail, with names like Chadwick and Guapo banging on the side of their cages with their food bowls in their mouths. Guapo is also a bonafide escape artist and he has since got loose again in what the doggie jail staff is calling the Big Escape." "What dog did you settle for Stinky?", asked Stevie. Stinky said, "I picked a setter and retriever mix named Sparrow." Stevie said, "That's a weird name." Stinky said, "I agree, which is why I changed my new dog's name to Henry." Little Henry said, "What the.....?"

         After break everyone returned to the floor to resume work. That is everybody but little Henry, who decided to find a little out of the way spot to do some reading. Little Henry's reading choice for today was a new Superman comic book. As little Henry was reading his comic book, he was shaking his head. Stinky noticed little Henry shaking his head over in the corner as he was changing out a worn out old motor, so he wandered on over to find out what was going on.

         Little Henry sensed that someone walking up on him, so he lowered the book. Stinky said, "Why do you keep on shaking your head Henry?" Little Henry said, "This doesn't make any sense." "What?", Stinky said. Little Henry pointed to a picture in his book, and said, "What is this box that Clark Kent goes into on the street to change into his Superman clothes?" Stinky said, "That's a phone booth Henry." Little Henry said, "What's a phone booth, and where are they located? I'll try looking for one, but I've never seen one in the real world." Stinky said, "That's a good question Henry, but don't waste your time looking for one. There aren't any phone booths left in the world anymore since cell phones have taken over. DC Comics might want to think that one over again, because the newer generations have never seen a phone booth." Little Henry said, "Maybe Superman needs to go into a restroom to change his clothes." Stinky smiled and shook his head saying, "Only you could come up with something in your head like that Henry."

The New Hat

         It was really a very cold rainy November day, so everybody and their mother were inside of the warm break room today for break time. At the big table Stinky was eating a healthy portion of Kentucky fried chicken with buttered mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, cornbread and some greens. Stevie looked at all of Stinky's food and said, "Ain't that a lot of starch?" Stinky said, "Aw, no Stevie I'm eating. I'm not ironing." Sparky said, "Yummy! All starched food isn't bad, unless you have an issue with diabetes. I've even heard that potatoes are considered the new Prozac!" Stevie said, "Mmmmm, now I want some of that corn bread." Sparky said, "Me too." Stinky then started to divide up his corn bread.

         Stinky handed Sparky and Stevie each a small piece of cornbread. Stevie set the cornbread next to his Tomato sandwich that he was preparing. He spread a good helping of good old Duke's Mayonnaise onto his tomatoes. Sparky looked at Stevie and said, "Why don't you just use Miracle Whip? It taste better." Stevie said, "Duke's Mayonnaise is the secret to great food." Sparky said, "Not where I come from." Stinky said, "Excuse me, you both come from the same place, which is here!"

         Meanwhile it was chip and dip day at the Widget factory, which also contributed to the rather big break room crowd. Boo Boo was sporting a brand new hat with her name on it today, while she helped herself to a handful of salt and vinegar potato chips. Little Henry approached the chip and dip station, in the middle of the break room, for a healthy helping of chips and dip. Boo Boo was already there sporting her new hat. Actually Boo Boo prefers now to be called Boo Boo. Her last name is actually Money, and she went through her entire life with people making fun of her last name. It all started in Elementary school with other children calling her small change.

         Little Henry looked at Boo Boo's new hat and said, "What did you do Boo Boo go out and have a custom-made hat with your name on it created personally for you?" Boo Boo shook her head and said, "No Henry, it's the name of the company that makes the hat." Little Henry reached his big fat stubby fingers deep into the potato chip bag helping himself to as many potato chips as he could possibly grab. Boo Boo then said, "Did you wash your hands first before sticking them into that potato chip bag Henry?" Little Henry in a low voice said, "Yeah." Boo Boo looked down at his hands and said, "It doesn't look like it Henry." Little Henry then said, "Well I did." Boo Boo said, "Then let me smell them." Little Henry said, "No! Who exactly do you think you are Boo Boo, the potato chip police?"

         Stinky and the rest of the gang said, "Let Boo Boo smell your hands Henry." Little Henry said, "Mind your own business." Stinky and the gang said, "It is our business if you are sticking your dirty hands into the community potato chip bag." Little Henry said, "Fine." sticking his hands in Boo Boo's face. Boo Boo said, "Alright they smell kind of clean." Everybody in the break room broke out into a big applause because little Henry finally washed his hands. Little Henry fussed at everybody taking his chips and dip with him outside to the quiet smoking hut, so he could eat in peace.

         A short time later Stinky, Sparky, and Stevie arrived at the smoking hut to find little Henry just as happy and as proud as a peacock is for his colorful feathers. Little Henry was sitting in the far corner of the hut finishing up the last little bit of his chips and dip, and the three of them took a seat and lit up their full flavored Marlboro cigarettes in the opposite corner. No one was talking and then all of a sudden with no advanced notice little Henry yelled "Did you hear that?" All three of them replied, "Hear what?" Little Henry said, "I've been hearing noises that whole time that I've been sitting out here." Sparky said, "It's all in your head Henry." Little Henry said, "I'm not crazy." All three of them laughed and said, "Okay Henry, whatever you say." Little Henry said a little bit louder, "I'm not crazy!", and then he got up and abruptly left the smoking hut to find another quiet place to finish his break alone. Stevie said, "What use is Henry?" Stinky replied, "He's about as useful as a bucket without a bottom." Sparky laughed and said, "Henry couldn't find a needle in a bucket full of needles." All three of them laughed and returned back into the Widget factory to go to work.

The Manual Particle Collector

          It was another day in the Widget factory, but morning meeting were now a thing of the past. It seems that management finally figured out what we knew all along, and that is that these morning meetings are nothing but a big waste of time and money. Now all of a sudden management wants us out on the floor when the bell rings with the equipment turned on and producing as many widgets as possible. Of course all of that isn't happening anyway.

         Most of the time you can look around on the production floor and you can see groups of people just standing around and talking. Over here there might be 5 people talking, and over there it might just be 2 people leaning on a conveyor and talking. It's kind of funny because in place of the morning meetings there isn't anything happening anywhere on the widget floor. Our little gang is no different. Today everyone is talking about the new plant down the street that is getting ready to open.

         A few of the guys went down there to the blue building on Saturday, and got hired. Both Stinky and Sparky got hired, but little Henry didn't get hired. Little Henry wasn't the least bit happy about that either. Stinky said, "On Saturday I did my drug screen test, I-9's, and got my picture taken for my badge." Sparky said, "So did I." Little Henry on the other hand said, "Well I didn't, but since you took your your drug screen test, now we can all go out and do drugs." Stevie said, "That's an interesting idea. Where are you going Henry?"

         Little Henry said, "I have to go and find a manual particle collector, and I don't even have the slightest idea what that is." Stevie said, "Henry there are 7 of them leaning on the wall right in front of you." Little Henry said "Where?" Stinky said, "What are you blind?" Little Henry, said all I see are a bunch of old dirty brooms." Stinky said, "Bingo Henry, a broom is a manual particle collector." Little Henry yelled, "WHAT? Why didn't the supervisor just say broom?" Stinky said, "You know how old O'Boyle the supervisor is Henry?" Little Henry said, "Yup, he's an idiot!" When Little Henry turned around a very mad red faced Supervisor O'Boyle was staring at Little Henry and motioning him to follow him to the office. As the two went off Stinky laughed and said, This won't turn out good."

          A little time passed by when Little Henry came around the corner returning from his little talk with supervisor O'Boyle. Stevie said, "How did your meeting with O'Boyle go Henry?" Little Henry said, "It was just wonderful. He doesn't want me sweeping anymore." Stinky asked, "What's he want you to do now Henry?" Little Henry smiled and said, "Now O'Boyle wants me to be an artist painting the walls and chose colors to adumbrate the trees in the forest so they would seem mysterious and shadowy." Stevie said, "Where in the world does O'Boyle come up with words like manual particle collector, and adumbrate?" Little Henry said, "The heck if I know, but he is sure making my life a whole lot more difficult with those types of words." All three of them laughed as they began their search for green paint and some paint brushes.

         To be continued ..........

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