Mr. & Mrs. Big

July 9, 2020

One advantage of Covid-19 is the opportunity for me to work in the back yard in the shade of our trees. This morning with spring in my step I strung out the extension cord and plugged in my laptop. At about the same time, a big hulking green tanker-type truck parked outside the wall of the Cadbury chocolate factory across from our house. A worker in overalls fired up the truck, from Smits Tank Maintenance Inc., and stuck a hose into a hole in the factory wall. A loud growling groan came out of the truck… and kept coming out.

Every once in awhile the growl gets deeper and throatier. The din fills the neighbourhood; work in the back yard is out of the question.

After an hour or so, I called Cadbury Security.

“Normally I wouldn’t even call about this kind of thing,” I said. “But due to COVID everyone’s working from home, and your truck is loud. Do you know how long this will last?”

The guard said he would check and call back.

A few minutes later a small parade arrived on our front porch. In the lead came a tall woman named Amanda. She wore a white lab coat. Long hair filled her hairnet. She wore safety goggles around her neck, and a hardhat to crown it off, with noise-cancelling headphones folded up. On her face she wore a hot metallic-pink facemask. Behind her came a gentleman in similar attire; only with a white facemask.

In her arms Amanda carried a prodigious quantity of chocolate. The three boxes contained 24 Mr. Big bars, 24 Wunderbars, and 48 Caramilk bars. She handed over the candy.

“We’re sorry about this,” she said through her lurid mask. “We have to clean out a vat because we don’t want to send our waste into the municipal sewer. So we are sucking the material into the tanker truck. We would have called you but this only came up this morning. I hope you can accept this gift with our apologies.”

It was all almost worth it. Chocolate takes the rough edges off the noise. The best part, though, was Amanda’s outfit.

Three hours later, the growling continues.