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a TRUE Grinch Christmas story


Hope you have had a good Christmas, Ashley.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

You mentioned the Grinch. I'll tell you a TRUE Grinch Christmas story.

I got laid off from Pan American Airlines and it was a whole year before I got a job with Eastern Air Lines but I put in the year between those working as electrician at the Miami Herald newspaper.

Newspapers are printed with lead type. Monsanto wanted to replace it with their new plastic and they spent millions at the Miami Herald building trying to perfect it but the ink just would not adhere to the plastic well enough and they gave up.

They were always bringing in new equipment and changing the wiring in the Herald building and the old copper wire that was removed every year was sold, just before Christmas every year, and the money was used to buy liquor for the employees Christmas party.

Now with all this Monsanto wiring being removed it looked like this Christmas there would be 20 times as much liquor as the previous year.

But now we were running out of space to store all this old copper wire.

The space problem was solved by this black dude who worked in the electrical department. He took all the wire and fed it through the lead choppers that chopped up the old lead printing plates so they could be remelted into new ones.

He put all these tiny chopped copper wire pieces into these 40 gallon cardboard barrels that were everywhere in the building. Everyone, including the shop foreman, heaped praise on this black electrical worker for figuring out how to store all this precious copper wire needed to fund the whisky at the Christmas party.

Workers from all over the Herald building would come in every day to see how many more barrels of wire we now had. This looked like one gigantic amount of liquor for the party.

The barrels were all loaded on to a truck--just before Christmas--and the truck headed to the junk metal plant.


None of the metal plants in Miami would take it because the copper wire pieces were too small and the pieces would all fall into the flame slots of the burners. They could only burn the insulation off LONGER pieces of wire.

This meant no money, whatsoever, for the Christmas booze.

Looking back, I believe the year was 1973 where there was no alcohol at all at the Miami Herald's Christmas party.

I can remember this redneck coming in to the electrical shop and telling the black dude this:

"I got one of those new color televisions and it showed the grinch that stole Christmas as being GREEN.

But I know that the s o b is really BLACK!"


Daniel P. Fitzpatrick Jr.



Over 4 Decades of Fitzpatrick's Books, Papers & Thoughts:



Dec. 26, 2010 This can be copied and published by anyone as long as it is copied and published in its entirety.