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Norm Cliff--followup
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New-Gen    Posted 07-07-2004 at 11:17:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Remember the other day I told you I was gonna tell you another Norm $ Cliff story? Well here it is:
A week or do after the Conservation police escapade we were tearing down a house and hauling the rubble away.
The old end dump trailer we were using had had the floor plated for reinforcement to haul concrete debris. Only problem was, whoever had plated it had lapped the plates the wrong way, so years of rubble sliding down had bent the edges up like little speed bumps. It still worked alright for rocks and cuncrete, but not too well for old houses. (Keep in mind, after the excavator gets done with a house there arent many pieces bigger than a Dollar general charcoal grill left}
And those little pieces had a bad habit of catching on the upturned speedbumps in the floor!
One particular load was giving us a little more trouble than usual when Cliff arrived on the scene. After surveying the situation he said in his most authoritve tone "I'll just climb up in th enose of the trailer, you guys raise it up, and I'll shove the stuff down with a big stick."
Norm and I said---uh---Cliff----don't you think thats a little dangerous?? Not to mention not real bright?
Cliff said "No, I'll be fine, you just run it up as slow as you can, I'll hang on tight--"
Well, we were still a little ticked about the deal with the conservation officer, so we said sure Cliff--go for it!
And so Cliff, armed with his very best garden hoe, (the closest thing to a big stick we could come up with} climbed up in the trailer and I idled the truck down as slow as it would go and started raising the trailer.
As the trailer slowly went up, every time the cylinder would reach another stage Cliff would yell "SLOW IT DOWN!"
But Cliff, it won't go any slower!!
Just as the trailer hit the top the rubble broke loose about the time Cliff lost his grip. So down came the busted up house, Cliff and his garden hoe in one big pile!! I'll never forget the sound of all that stuff clunking and sliding down that 30' trailer, punctuated by loud animal like screams from Cliff. The whole thing took about 15 seconds, but it seemed a lot longer!
Then silence--we shut the truck off and stood there looking at each other for a second, knowing we had to go to the pile and tend to Cliff, dreading what we might find.
Upon arrival at the back of the trailer we saw an arm sticking out of the pile thrashing around. Then a leg. Soon followed by a head. Quickly followed by the rest of Cliff.
He managed to get to his feet and stand face to us, with a look of undiluted anger on his face (Though it was a little hard to spot with all the plaster in his beard}
After calling us every name he could think of, and making some rather nasty accusations regarding out relationships with our mothers, he said "I TOLD YOU TO RAISE IT SLOWLY!!!!"
We said {in the midst of uncontrollable laughter}
Poor Cliff. And to add insult to injury he lost his best garten hoe!!

Chas in Me    Posted 07-07-2004 at 12:43:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
HOE! HOE! HOE! Great Story. Some people just won't listen to a word of sense or caution.

Indydirtfarmer    Posted 07-07-2004 at 12:29:17       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Funny! It reminded me of a totally unrelated story about a buddy of mine.
We were all about 23. Young, cocky, and willing to try ANYTHING.
4 of us went to the Smokey Mountains for a weekend camping trip. While there, we were going to try white water rafting for the first time. We went to the New River, and a "guided trip.
Well, the first night there, one of my friends got a little too familiar with a bottle of Wild Turkey. Next day he wasn't fit to shoot, muchless go rafting. He stayed at the camp, while the other three of us went rafting.
When we got to the place that ran the raft trips, we found out that we could rent rafts and go on our own, or take a guided trip. We, in our youthfull wisdom, decided that it would be "cool" to do this on our own. After all, how much do you need to know to float down a river?
First mistake was to get a BIG 6 man raft with just 3 of us. It was hard to control in calm water, muchless the rapids. (Well, actually, the first mistake was going rafting)
There was a 2 hour trip, a 4 hour trip, and an 8 hour trip. We (Next mistake) decided to take the 8 hour run. After all, how bad can it be?
The guides would take you to your start point and drop you off. Your vehicle will be at the end, waiting on you. Fair enough.....
I asked the guide what happens if we tear up the raft. he said there was no way to damage them, just don't break the oars or loose them. OK.
Off we go......
The first couple hours were BIG fun. Easy, mild rapids (Class 1 rapids). The next hour saw a huge elevation change. We were going downhill FAST. The rapids got worse. (Class 2 & 3) We knew then why they warned us about taking on too much as beginners.
Then things got BAD. We were entering some of the only class 4 rapids in the eastern half of the U.S. We got hammered on the rocks. One of my friends was starting to have a panic attack. Just what we needed.
Then things seemed to calm down a bit. We were in open, but fast moving water. There were people all over the banks on both sides. They kept pointing at us. We just waved back (like IDIOTS)
We could here this ROARING SOUND getting closer. There was a cable stretched across the river, with a sign on it. It said "Portage Area Ahead" OK, I didn't know what that meant. So.....Onward!
It meant get out of the water and carry your raft around the waterfall, MORONS.
We ended up going over a 15' waterfall. It pinned the boat to the bottom for a while. I had on a life jacket, as did ONE of my friends. The other buddy wasn't too sure he needed one, so it was in the bottom of the raft. Finally, 2 of us popped up out of the water. Then the raft. But where's Brian........No sign of him.....Some one on the shore hollered...LOOK! they were pointing downstream a few hundred feet. There was an arm sticking up. Then a leg.....Then a head popped up.....Then an arm again.....Finally, he got his "senses" about him, and started swimming to the shore. We got ahold of the raft, and swam over to where he was at.
then we noticed.......The raft was ripped almost in two pieces. We still had our oars, but the raft was trash. We hitched a ride back to the guides cabin. We threw the raft down outside the shop, and took the oars in, thanking them for all the fun we had.
They invited us back again, next time we were in the area.
Oh sure! We'll be back soon! Yeah right!
I'm sure they would like to know how we destroyed that raft though. John

Larry (MO)    Posted 07-07-2004 at 12:39:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Indy:

Now that's funny. I have rafted the New River several times. Man is that a fun thing to do. And yes, very silly to do without experience or a guide. I know you realize this but you and your buddies are VERY lucky. That river is not your typical lazy mid-summer float trip.

You gained two things from the experience though. First is the knowledge of what portage means. The second is you found a cure for a Wild Turkey hangover ... 15 foot drop in a raft.

Safe swimming ;-)

Mike in tn    Posted 07-07-2004 at 11:36:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great story, bet you still get a chuckle out of that one yourself. Next time don't wait soo long to give us another one.

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