On my way past the Dave steelyard the other week, I noticed an open dumpster with enticing loot near the front. Usually I avoid dumpster diving, but this one was wide open and there was an irresistible giant cubby contraption made from plywood painted battleship grey.
This is it tossed into the back of the Green T. When I find something extremely heavy but free on the side of the road my adrenaline gets pumping as if there was a child trapped under a flaming log. I’m capable of heroic feats of strength, or so I imagine. The theory’s only been disproven once, when I tried to score a massive engineered ply-beam that weighed more than I do and was about ten feet long. I managed to pick it up, stagger halfway to the truck, and then all strength, as well as the beam, slipped from me and I became that child trapped under the log. Something really terrible had dawned on my spine, rendering me immobile for days and then in a homegrown physical therapy program swimming laps at the Y for a year. Now I pick my battles and wear a lifting belt. I thought this crappy old cubby beast was worth the risk.
There was a pile of metal office furniture, but it looked ancient and near the end of its useful time outside the landfill. Also it was covered in a thick blanket of dust. Here’s me, wading through a dumpster, getting picky about dust. I did grab a set of knee pads and a pair of thick leather welding gloves ominously labeled in marker:
I have a few carpenter friends who pretend to be welders, because just being a carpenter isn’t macho enough. They also have to build 4 wheel drive monster jeeps from scratch or beat on anvils and wield fire. I bypassed these lesser authorities and when straight to top.
“Ben, some welder named Snake threw his gloves away and I snatched them! Or some welder named Steve loved his protective mittens so much he named them!”
I could just see Ben shaking his head in bemused dismay when I read his reply. “Snake is neither the name of the owner nor the glove. It’s the title of the chore that the glove is used for. That’s the only clue you get.”
I’ve been on the case ever since with no promising leads. At first I thought the gloves were used to snake out clogged toilets at the plant. But these mitts are total overkill for that. Plus, no welder would stoop to cleaning toilets and no plumber would stoop to using welder apparel. Ben told a tale the other weekend about the portable toilets at a job getting overfilled and the boys setting them aflame in protest. This doesn’t seem like the same mentality that would keep a special, labeled glove for toilet maintenance.
So I turn to google, and whatever pops up on the first page of a search for the terms snake and glove. Possible leads:
1. gloves designed for handling snakes. I found an article about a guy who lets various snakes bite him to test different gloves. It gets bloody.
2. gloves designed for really paranoid hikers who imagine they’ll somehow get bit on the hand by a snake while… perhaps hiking in the handstand position with their eyes closed through snake country? This brings to mind that scene from Friday the 13th part 2 when Jason encounters the camp counselor who walks everywhere on his hands, which leaves him in a rather vulnerable position for the big hockey fan’s machete.
3. Expensive and ugly cycling gloves with matching purses made from snakes.
4. A glove that can operate a robotic snake arm at Cornell! The robot snake is specifically designed for colonoscopies. wow. Leave it to scientists to come up with the most bizarre lead yet. Here’s the hilarious, terrifying video of the little guy at work:
I’ll not be volunteering for research studies at Cornell anytime soon.
5. OH! Maybe it’s the glove that Jake “the snake” Roberts battled Sting for with Jessie Ventura ringside doing commentary during an UNSANCTIONED match. It looks like the same glove. What a crappy prize to fight over. They have to avoid pile drivers and atomic drops while climbing a skinny pole in order to win a single glove? It’s not even a set. Wait a minute, that’s a coal mining glove. A steel encased mining glove.
Now that’s a fancy video. Early on Jake makes a run for the glove but Sting makes him pay dearly. It’s a good thing the organizers made them sign release waivers.
I’ve exhausted myself in this fruitless investigation.