One of my favorite things to look at in the antique stores that we frequent is the antique tools. It’s not too often that I see something that I’ve never seen before but this past week I saw one twice. Actually, I only saw it once because the second time I saw one was actually the second time I had seen it, so that doesn’t count. What was the tool you may ask? First, let me describe it. I knew it had to be some kind of a shovel because it had a dish shaped blade about 12 to 14 inches in diameter on a handle. What threw me was that the handle had to be at least 12 feet long. I never found a pitch fork or grain shovel that fit my hands and I knew that this shovel fell into that same category. “How tall was the guy that used this shovel?”, I asked myself. I looked at the attached tag and saw that it was a telephone pole shovel. That explained the handle length and reminded me of something that happened when we lived in Minnesota back in the 70’s.
There was a Minnesota phone company that was going to hire one team of telephone pole installers, and the boss had to choose between a team of two Norwegian guys and two Irish guys.
So the boss met with both teams and said: “Here’s what we’ll do. Each team will be installing poles out on the new road for a day. The team that installs the most poles gets the job”.
Both teams headed out.
At the end of the shift, Pat and Mike, the Irish guys, came back and the boss asked how many poles they had installed. They said that it was tough going, but they’d put in twelve.
Forty-five minutes later, Ole and Sven, the Norwegian guys came back in and they were totally exhausted. The boss asked, “Well, how many poles did you guys install?” Ole, the team leader, wiped his brow and sighed, “Sven and me, we got three in.”
The boss gasped, “Three? Those two Irish guys put in twelve!”
“Oh Yah,” said Ole, “but you should see how much dey left stickin outa da ground!”
Keep your fork