I’m Just a dumb Miner – whats your excuse? Mess Hall is not really a mess…. yet…

So I’ve sat down a the table enjoying my meal they cooked from recycled food from last weeks crib options. Seriously, I have never eaten stale lettuce until this night, or eggs you could play squash with.

I was about halfway though my plate full of grub when a group of guys came in like a gum tree full of gallahs. I was cought up with some current affairs tv show and was eating at a slower pace then usual, when the guys sat around me, which is never unusual in these places.

I kept my head down and ate, ’cause eating while talking really pisses me off. Eventually I get “Oi, you!” and I look up to see a bloke with a face like the north end of a south bound camel, and looked like he had a head like a Dirrambandi mailbox.

I stared at him with a finger up in the typical sign of wait as I obivously finished my mouthful then cocked my head back quickly with “Yeah, mate?”, to which he grabbed a spoon full of what looked liked fish eyeball soup and held up his finger as he instantly swallowed it and asked “What are you doing at my table?”

A quick glance over gave me the impression this bloke was obviously eating fourths tonight and then maybe dessert. “Sorry mate, didn’t see the reserved sign” I said as I grabbed another, and much larger mouthful of crap dinner. “Being a smart ass won’t help you here bud” he reckoned as he slurped the next spoon full down like it was his last sip of a macca’s cup.

I ignored his comment, dug the fork into the powdered mash with balls of powder the water obviously didn’t get to and was about to shove it in gob when Jabba The Hut says “I asked you a question”.
“Which was?”
“Being a smart ass won’t help you here.”

I looked to him, to the others at the table who were either shaking their head at him or were no acting if they weren’t noticing. “Is that a question or a statement?”
“It’s a threat.”

So I do a quick round up in my head “1. His mates are obviously not going to back him up now… 2. He can’t catch me if I run… 3. He ain’t that bright… 4. He has a company shirt on meaning he has been here a while… 5. He knows the rules and regulations.”

“Rigto prick, if you got a fucking problem with me we can go like cut snakes here and now.  I don’t have the time to put up with bullshit and you seem to be carrying a keg full of it”

Stumped, with his mates holding back chuckles, he slides his chair back as to get up. He was on the other side of the table in the middle of two other, so if he was to start moving at me, he’d have to go around, ’cause his cauldron on a stomach prevented him from leaning over the table.

“Well? You gonna get up or pussy foot for the next half hour, or sit down and we eat our dinner like this fucked up talk of ours never happened.”

“I’m gonna squash you like a frog”

“I believe you could mate.  But it means getting up, walking around to this side, expecting me not to move and either belly flop or ask me to lie down.  Seriously mate, you need to drop this.  If you start a fight in here, you’re fired. If you start a fight in the carpark, you’re fired. If you start a fight in camp, you’re fired and sure as shit you not gonna try and fight me at work.  Me?  It was self defence, the camera’s will show that in all four areas.  Your ego or your pay cheque mate, it’s up to you.  I’ve go the adrenalin pumping through me now if your keen.”

I wasn’t kidding, my legs were shaking, I had to keep my hands moving just so he couldn’t see them shake.  Damn I hate the effects of it when your sitting still.  He looked to me and then the bloke beside me who was pointing to Jabba’s plate.  Jabba stared at me like I just kissed his boyfriend and ate his dinner.

I looked down at my dinner and continued like nothing happened. I even dropped my plate off at the wash bay, got some dessert and sat back down in the same chair in which the bloke next to me gave me a single pat on the back.  When Jabba got up to get his third serving a few of the guys reassured me he was harmless and that he usually screwed around with new starters.

“He better change his ways and quick, I was gonna do more then knock his block off the way he was going.” I got a few laughs as the guy sat down with his plate full of some sort of 5 meat mince and salad.  He looked up and said “Hey mate, what are you doing at my table?”

I thought “For fuck sake I am going to kill this prick, fuck this job, I am ju…..”  “I’m Jabba, this is….”  “He went on introducing me to the table which I can’t remember ’cause I was thinking “Wholly shit, they actually call him Jabba!!!”  We exhange pleasantries and the rest of the bullshit you do meeting a group for the first time.

It was pissing me off, I just wanted to bloody eat my ice-cream and get to my new room.  As I took my bowl up to the washbay so did Jabba, he apologised and dribbled on some excuse how he’s been depressed, stressed and numerous other bullshit.  I have never had a one sided conversation this long at a kitchen sink ever. Any conversation. I even worked in a take-a-way cafe for 2 years.

Feeling sorry for the fella, I shook hands and got out of there as quick as a bumnut through an eggslice.

The next night same table the blokes were already at the table, most of ’em gave me the “Nod of Acknowledgement” as I passed by with my dinner and sat down next to the trainer to get some pointers and tips about the job and machinery. 

“What to good to sit with us now?” is all I heard from behind me, I looked up and saw my reflection surrounded by an aura of lard in the tinted mess hall windows.

I just took another large mouthful and held up the “Finger of wait”…..

Then another mouthful.

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~ by John the Aussie on August 12, 2011.

2 Responses to “I’m Just a dumb Miner – whats your excuse? Mess Hall is not really a mess…. yet…”

  1. Its amazing how quickly a bull will back down once they realize you’re not going to.

    Yet another great anecdote!

  2. Oh I back down when I know I am in the wrong or outnumbered. But this dude didn’t even have a chance of catching me.

Go on, give us a yarn or two, mate.

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