Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jack's Adventure

Another excerpt from Funny Stories from My Travels:
In 1987, the company I worked for had a project in a factory in Cabuyao, Laguna. It’s a two-hour bus ride to get to the factory plus a ten to fifteen minute ride in a jeepney. I'm not going to say what we did there but we had an experience that I'd like to share.
On our first day at the factory, we had an afternoon snack break at their canteen. One in our group, whom I shall hide under the name, Jack, discovered a table with jars of coffee, creamer, sugar, powdered milk and powdered chocolate. You can make coffee, milk or chocolate, all for free.
While my companions and I opted for softdrinks, Jack proceeded to mix coffee, sugar, milk and chocolate in a glass until the powders reached to about half the glass' height. Then he put in hot water and stirred. His drink had the consistency of condensed milk, thick and gooey. He drank a mouthful from the brew and gave a satisfied "aaah" as he lowered the glass. It's amazing what effect the word "free" has on some people.
After knock off time, we took the two-hour bus ride back to the office. We had not gone very far when Jack started to complain. "I'm not feeling so good." Jack had paled considerably and looked quite sick. The concoction he’d created had upset his stomach. The bus had already entered the South Super Highway and was making good time. Jack, however, was having great difficulty.
"I need to get off now! I can't hold it!"
We protested. There were no stops along the highway in those days and it would be dangerous to sit by the roadside with all sorts of vehicles speeding past. Besides, even if the driver let us off, we'd have a hard time getting a ride on another bus since the entire length of the highway was a no-stop zone. There was no choice. Jack would have to hold it until we reached the office.
Poor Jack twisted and turned in his seat. He transferred to the back of the bus while everyone else moved off toward the front. If the unthinkable happened, the wind would keep the gases in the back and blow them out the windows. At least that's how we hoped it would be.
For the next two hours, Jack fought his silent battle. Occasionally, his face would grimace as he struggled to keep his purity. Once we reached the outskirts of Manila, however, the traffic slowed our progress considerably. Things were looking really bad for Jack.
Jack’s tenacity, however, proved to be his saving grace. The bus stopped at the corner near our office and Jack bounded the length of the bus and out the door. He was gone by the time we got off. The office was two blocks from the bus stop and on the sixth floor. Sometimes, the elevator didn't work.
When we arrived at the office, Mike, our gofer (go fer this, go fer that), asked us what happened to Jack. He had jumped through the door, grabbed the ladle, and bolted out without saying a word. The story came out and we were having a hearty laugh when Jack came in, wide grin on his face, walking as if nothing had happened.
"What an adventure!"

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