The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #2756668
Posted By: Amos
31-Oct-09 - 12:17 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
There are those who hunger for continuity and completeness, or who will want to refer others to the deathless couplets that have so inspired a whole Kilo of MOABites. For their kind benefit, then, the following is laid out in sequence. A couple of verses from Rapaire have been included in parentheses for continuity.

The Ballad of Thirty Two K

We wuz pushing for thirty-two of K
My messmates on the thread.
We were swollen up, and weak of eye,
And sore and weak of head.
But they handed out the shifting irons,
And the foreman he did say,
"Take out and swing this hammer, Jack,
For the thirty-two of K."

Now some of us took the handcar out
And scooted out ahead,
And some of us stood in that burning sun
And cussed the whole damn thread.
And some of starting shifting track,
And eyeing where it lay,
And moving rock and hammering shocks,
Toward the thirty-two of K.

We were up against a deep shale cut
In the hardest kind of soil.
And the hammers rang and the rounders sang
And the newbies reeled from toil.
And we cut a swath like Gawd's own path
Through that hard adobe clay.
And we doubted hard we would ever see
The thirty-two of K.

(Then Amos found some giant powder
Jist a-sittin' on a tray
And we were afraid, the way he tossed the keg
We'd be blown to thirty-two kay.

But he drilled a hole and rammed it full
Tamped the powder in without a stay
And blew the hardrock all to hell
On the way to thirty-two kay.

We mucked out the rock and mud and all
And before us a vista lay
Of shining mounts and shady vales
Downhill, in thirty-two kay.)

Then it's "Heist that gravel and bed 'er down!"
And "Tap 'er once and stay!"
And the hammers rang as the bright new steel
Lined up for another K.
Rapaire was there, with his chest all bare.
But the Hawk, he stayed away.
And the ties went hard down for every yard
We made toward another K.

Then the steel spikes sang, as the hammers rang
And we locked down another chain
And yard by yard, though the work was hard,
We built, and ne'er complained.
And Still was there, to offer care
When a hammer smashed a toe
And as it came on night, we saw it right,
Where we wuz, and had yet to go.

Come dawn anew, and the whole damn crew
Was there, though it cost them sore.
'Cuz we knew that day'd see us on the way
An' only a few days more.
We could feel it risin' past the dawn's horizon
As the sun clocked out the day;
Swing the hammer down! Sure as Gawd, we're bound
For the thirty-two of K.

There was a hundred and ninety-eight to go,
And that's easy enough to say.
But lining them out in that red-hot sun
Is a different price to pay!
"Come and tap those keys!! Bring your Submit on!"
The Mother cussed, and yelled.
"New posts! New posts" and post we did,
For thirty-two kay, or hell.

All night athat night we sang that lay
As the moon danced through the trees.
Little Hawk even showed up once,
With strange scrapes on his knees.
And a coupla new guys came around,
'Round the middle of the day,
Cuz the din and the drive could not be stayed,
Bound for 32 of Kay.

When the wind came up in the afternoon,
It was 31-9 or bust!
And our hands were scarred from flying grit,
And our eyes were red from dust.
Still we hammered on with what we had
We would not give up the ghost.
We knew somewhere in the gloom ahead
Was the 32 thousandth post.

So we slammed the hammers down again
And we dug the railbed hard.
And we tamped and lined and dug again,
Sweating blood for every yard.
It wasn't love, nor loot, nor dames
That drove us so that day;
'Twas the wild-eyed call of Mom--sweet Mom!
For the thirty-two of Kay.

(Amos dropped down where he stood,
Laying hardbed rail
And I couldn't him out at all
'Cause I was blasting shale.
So the Rounders tossed him in a hole
And stood around to pray
Then shoveled fill on top of the boy
On the road to thirty-two kay.)

At thirty one and eight nineteen
The hands were feeling dry,
There was dust in all their crevices,
And dust filled up the sky.
Then someone hollered "There's a light!"
And damn if it wasn't so!
A single solid golden beam
Pointing straight to the earth below.

Then thunder cracked and the light grew strong,
And a great split opened the land!!
And Amos walked right out of that grave,
With a fifth of rum in his hand!!
There was shouts and hollers from all hands,
Mostly asking for that rum.
ANd the boys were ready to kneel and pray,
If he'd only give them some.

So we finished that fifth and we cinched our belts,
And we turned to the rail once more,
Though our hands were chapped, and our fingers bled,
And our arms and backs were sore.
And as evening came across the land,
The dust stole off with the day.
But we never slowed, not a single hand,
Bound for thirty-two of Kay.

One fifty-nine of empty posts
Haunted us through the mist
As the night moved off and the silver dawn
By sunrise just was kissed.
And through the chill of morning dew
Into the heat of the day
We sweated under ever tie
For the 32 of Kay.

The future line was clear to see
A long and empty line.
And the posts we knew we needed were
One hundred fifty nine.
But not a word of sloth or ire
Had any man to say,
As we slogged along in one desire
Toward the 32 of Kay.

And slow--so slow!--the posts went by
Each with a terrible weight
The empty miles ahead ticked down
TO one hundred fifty eight
And ticked again as each man stood
And had his noble say
One fifty left! We're on the path!
To the 32 of Kay.

The valiant band of MOABites
Posted of many things;
Of cooking sauce and bookmobiles,
The divinity of kings.
Of man o' wars and men of peace
And what was worth the pay;
And what we'd see when we crested o'er
That 32 of Kay.

By dawn next day the Hawk was back,
Riding on his bikey
The scars on both his knees had healed,
If not those on his psyche.
He'd gone to see a guru-man
All balding, fat and gray,
While the rest of, why we just dug on
For the 32 of Kay.

The sun it got to bold Rapaire
So we put him on the shelf;
He'd started calling himself names,
And was quite beside himself.
But he'd made posts of good BS,
In a bold and noble way,
So we let him fall back, and took up the slack,
Bound for 32 of Kay.

(One-sixteen , me lads and lasses!!!
Breath and push, and move your asses!
Dumb or not, guested or hosted
Cheers to she who has often posted!

Onward! Onward! Raise the call,
Bring the dweeb from down the hall!
Bring your cousin, silly bitch,
Just to render MOAB rich!

Bring your banker, tailor, lawyer!
Call a plumber or a sawyer!
One-sixteen!! We're on the way
To reach the fabled next of K!)

The shadows stole along the rails
As the day began to wane.
And each man and woman solemn swore
They'd do it all again
They'd undergo the backbreak work,
The splinters, dust, and pain,
To lay the way to the next of Kay
For the mighty MOAB train.

And as the rugged, ragged thread
Grew longer, post by post,
We smiled, although our fingers bled,
And traded jibes and boasts
We had only ninety-eight to go,
One more long night to haul,
'Til we'd see that shining bullet fly,
The Mother cannon-ball.

So we heisted up and turned back to,
And hauled another span.
Each one who vowed to see it through,
Each woman, and each man,
Though fingers worn and eyes were sore
And lives in shards did lay,
Would post, and post, and post again
For the Thirty Two of Kay.

The count was down to seventy-eight
When the wind began to blow.
The red dust flew to the skies on high
And ruined our hopes below.
The air was thick as an old brick wall
And it slammed our bones with pain.
And we thought we'd never gain a yard,
Or ever post again.

And every hand who could even move
Was huddled behind a rock
As the wind blew through like a hurricane
No hand of man could block.
We was lying low, ducking from that blow,
And we feared we'd starve in the dark.
When through the screaming gloom appeared
A figure, tall and stark.

We heard him scream into that blow,
"Goddam your eyes and all!"
And saw him stagger to the rail,
Stumble, and lurch, and fall.
And we saw him scramble and rise again
And grab the line and cuss,
Hammering down in that screaming squall,
"Gimme 32 Kay, or bust!"

Then that shadow yelled like a fiend from hell
And he grabbed a rail and hauled
While his clothes were shredded and his skin was too,
By the force of that awful squall.
And the hands looked out as that rail went down,
And he hammered it onto the ties.
And they wept to see old Amos win,
Or from wind and dirt in their eyes.

So another chain was laid out true
In the face of that living hell,
And the winds went home, cuz they knew the truth,
They'd been beat, any man could tell.
So the hands crept out as the wind died down
And a couple of chimps joined the fray.
And they all turned to with a post or two,
For the sake of 32 K.

When the toll crept down to sixty-six,
The tired sons of Mother
Were growing faint and querulous
And snapped at one another.
Their tongues were sharp, their tempers frayed,
As might happen the same to you,
And their weary ears were tired of
The number, "32".

They'd done their turn, worked through the night,
And through the follering day.
Their backs were sore, their pants were worn,
And they still weren't all the way.
So you cannot blame those noble folk
For feeling sharp, that way.
They'd earned it all, in the service of
The thirty-two of Kay.

Count thirteen!! The cry rang out,
Up and down that hard-steel line!
We're coming through! Look out below!
We're making up our time!
Tap her and leave her! cried the boss,
Bring down another dray!!
We're slapping steel at a terrible rate
Toward the Thirty-two of K.

Then the sun came up on Saturday
And the crowd began to forming
It was strange to see them out of bed
So early in the morning.
The gang that made the steel rails fly
They didn't much note, or care
They were calling out for rail and spikes
Through the Saturday morning air.

The rails were counting down to home
THey knew they'd see that line!
You could hear it in their steely ring
And see it in their shine.
Why they almost laid themselves out straight
One old hand was heard to say.
As if they knew they were getting close
To the Thirty Two of Kay.

Another tie! Another spike!! Come and bring that hammer down!
And another steel nail found its home
In the cold and wintery ground.
Press on! Press on!! It's coming soon!
The village wives did pray.
As the gang worked down the final slope
To the thirty-two of Kay.

Then from over the mountains, back in the hills
There floated a strange new sound.
A lonesome drifting kind of song,
Like a timberwolf's sad moan.
It floated down from those distant hills
Where we'd spent those sweat-stained days,
And it cried as a ghost might moan, "Make haste!"
"Make the thirty-two of Kay!"\

The citizens watching down below
All froze with a look of fear.
They wondered at that weird cry,
And the children cried in fear.
And the men and women at the rail
Just doubled their speed once more.
For they knew the sound of the MOAB Train
Crossing thirty one five oh four.

They knew the hour was drawing near
When their work would win, or die
And they knew they had to finish that line
Where that mighty train would fly.
For she would not stop, she could not stop
Once she started the long, long grade
That led down from those towering mountain heights
To the Thirty Two of Kay.

Then the last rail settled into its bed.
The bumpers stood like soldiers.
The last sharp spike was hammered in,
And the crew boss yelled, "Now, hold her!"
Then out of the mist and down the grade
Came a blur like the break of day!
As the MOAB engine and ninety cars
Rattled home to Thirty Two Kay.