Friday, April 29, 2011

Big Daddy Diamond - NyQuil Bombs & Locker #43

OK, you kids have gotten to know me by now, let me ask you think Klecko would make a good drug addict?

As a kid, I grew up in the 60's, the smell of weed was encrusted in my nostrils from the time I came out of the womb. Outdoor festivals, art fairs, drum circles......This is where baby Klecko spent his formative years. I'd get dragged to these events by my free spirited mother (and 1/2 the times my entire wardrobe consisted of nothing more than a loin cloth and heavy pewter peace sign necklace) who believed that the entire hippie nation could collectively raise her son.
I think a lot of peeps my moms age subscribed to that ideology.

Here's a couple illustrations to show you why I would make a great drug addict..........

#1 - I totally love the movies TRAINSPOTTING and SID & NANCY.

#2 - Instead of using 5-Hour Energy Shots, I use "Extra Strength."

#3 - When Klecko gets the flu he drops NyQuil Bombs, these feats of magic are made up of one part NyQuil, and one part Jagermeister.

#4 - When Klecko had his wisdom teeth out, he laid on the couch watching Jackie Chan video's until his entire prescription ran out.

Of course I'm busting your chops a little, but I really think any of us could fall victim to the dragon. During my career I have seen this armor scaled beast take the souls of dozens of people I've worked with. I'm telling ya kid, that Lizard King plays for keeps.

Many-Many years ago in a bakery far-far away, I worked with this cat who everybody called "Big Daddy Diamond."

Big Daddy had the same build and general overall behavioral traits as Skipper from the TV show Gilligan's Isle. Well except that he bought an eight ball every Friday on payday, and fried it before his Saturday shift....oh yeah, and except he'd take new-young-rube bakers (mostly from Wisconsin LOL) and take them to Saunas and get them in even though they were under age, oh yeah....and expect he would always take new employees by locker #43 at about 2 a.m. and bump it so the door would pop open, only to reveal a large plastic receptacle (which was filled with speed) and the multiple lines of crank that were cut out in perfectly even lines.

Then Big Daddy Diamond would give you the following paraphrased speech much in the same manner that your shop teacher, or driving instructor would talk to you.

"Oh my, what could that be, I certainly don't know." Then he would close the locker door with his shoulder before continuing "You know, sometimes the baking industry can be hard on a guy, sometimes a guy needs help, a guy could use a friend. I've heard that some people like round doughnuts (he was talking about the speed) priced at 25 cents each, other folks prefer a better breakfast by selecting the powdered doughnuts, those are $12:50 a piece.  It's not every bakery where "Breakfast Service" is made available, so it would be a shame if this favor ever got abused, because you know how stuff like that turns out.......eventually abusers are caught and the laws of nature has a way of evening everything out."

I wasn't sure if I should laugh or be scared.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'd talk with workmates in a hushed whisper, over in some isolated corner and ask..... "Dude whats up with locker #43?" Without exception, the workmate(s) would turn their back and walk away. Never was a response uttered. You didn't know who was a player and who wasn't. was like the Mob-Mafia-Cubans and American government talking about the Kennedy assassination in the foyer of the book depository.

If the culinary field was a rodeo......Commercial wholesale baking would be the bull riding event. Nothing against Chefs, Retail Bakers or little kids with Kool-Aid stands, but the Commercial baker is simply a bad a** freak of nature. Working 40-50 days in a row, 12-16 hour shifts wasn't was expected. You lived to bake and baked to live.

"Well Klecko I knew a chef in Montreal that...." let me interrupt you right there sister, before you sound silly, did that chef friend work from 10 pm to noon, on an opposite spectrum of society? Did they work in a cinder block tomb where they were chained to a bun machine?

All respect- All love tossed out at anybody crazy enough to work in "The Show", but just as everybody in the MLB can't argue the fact that the Yankee's have the most sucsessful org in the biz (and I so HATE those pin striped turds), the Wholesale baker is the culinary Godfather of the food industry, and if you want to scrap over this, use your mind before you lift your fist.....history will back my opinion.

The standard Wholesale baker who uses drugs (which will almost always be stimulants) really doesn't view themselves as druggies, in fact most of them will frown on, or make fun of "that guy" who smokes their mind, there is no reason for it, there is no payoff. The guy is written off as a clod.

I can't tell you how many times I came to work and "dude" would be at the time clock, eyes sunk to the back of his skull, bearing the confession 'Brah I pounded a 1/4 (crank) yesterday, I just couldn't "F"ing sleep, I'm not sure if I can work another shift."

Sometimes the crew would take pity and send them home, or let them sleep in the warehouse for 6 hours until boss man strutted the floor. other times like Christ standing before the mob....instead of hearing "Give us Barrabas" they'd here "Buck up A-Hole and get your work done."

Klecko has always flirted with obsession and living the process of life in the ditch, but straight up.....these guys scared the crap out of me.Hard drugs and fast roller coasters have always freaked me out. I'd see body's hit the concrete as often as you might see your office mate swiping an extra 5 minutes by the company water cooler.

And maybe its that "clean living" that has helped me survive. At 47 years old, working in environments with less than 100 employees, a guy shouldn't be able to rattle off dozens of colleagues that have died at the hands of drugs.

In closing, I realize that the topic is kinda a drag, but I will say, every single one of those peeps knew what they were getting them selves into, and for the most part, they smiled all the way.....that is until they dropped.

Be clean Kids!


  1. overnights suck so so bad. I have one or two this week and i'm being a baby about it. (kidding, i'm being tough, for real). but 30, 40, 50 in a row. uhg. no thanks. i couldn't be tougher than for 7 days in a row, for sure.

  2. Yeah Marina Sophia,

    I think a lot of it is from where you are at in life. I was working in a commercial shop, and I figured that since I only had a year of technical training, selling my self into slavery wasn't to bad.
    Even if I did this for 3 years, I'd be on par with college students, only I 'd have a paycheck instead of debt, but can make you a little snaky!