Moving pipe was always a stimulating experiment; visually, olfactorally, and even grammatically.
The most stimulating of these experiences occurred on Anne’s. You have heard of Anne’s, of course. I’ve talked about it on my blog, and it was the scene of several murder investigations. I’ve always felt that we should get a medal just for moving pipe across that horrific field.
In addition to a creek that had to be navigated and crossed, there was old farm equipment littered under a large tree. The grass grew long and wild there, easily at chest level by the end of the summer. Every time the pipes cross the field we had to wend our way around the creek, tree, grass and equipment. It was miserable.
One particular day, it was just me and my Uncle Curtis threading our way through this death trap. I would grab the pipe, he would guide it in and then aim me in the appropriate direction, whereupon I would set it down. It was a perfect plan…in theory.
I dutifully picked up a pipe,
threw it across the creek and then crossed the creek to pick it up and take it over to Curtis, who was going to guide my pipe in. I took it to where Curtis was…or, rather, where I thought he was. He wasn’t there, so I swung my pipe around to set it down.
The pipe rattled like I was in an earthquake. An earsplitting scream split the air.
Like a specter from the fires of Hell, my Uncle Curtis reared up from the tall grass, clutching his head like a deranged serial killer with a migraine. He had still been adjusting the previous pipe, bent over unseen in the grass, when my pipe came thundering towards his innocent head.
I had to move the line by myself. After spitting out truly foul (and to my ears, never-before-heard) language (some of which I duly memorized to look up later) Curtis sat on the ground, trying to remember his name.
I helped him to the car, and we went home, with Curtis softly singing to himself. After he recovered, (which took considerable time) Curtis never moved pipe with only me again. I can’t imagine why.