The Mini-burger

FanFic in the Birmoverse

Mr Singh – BobNoWhere

Mr Singh smiled as he watched one of his herds. The tall man in a turban, check shirt and blue jeans sat comfortably in the saddle. For the first time in a many long days he had allowed himself to leave the armies of problems to rage and gibber in his e-mail inbox. True it was to deal in person with yet another problem with the new slaughterhouse, but at least he was away from the desk in daylight and out on his horse.

 

As the colt picked its way through the milling yearlings Mr Singh considered the long road that had led from a small NGO school in Mumbai, through college to Microsoft in Seattle and now running a farm with 60 Indian and Philippino labourers and their families. After 35 years of feeling like fate’s yoyo he had developed a sense of humour blacker than a moonless night. The concept of a software engineer turned feudal landlord tickled him.

 

From about 80 meters out Mr Singh spotted a man pitch his cigarette butt into the mud and scarper, this widened his grin as he knew the man would be flying to tell the crew boss he was coming. He figured his turban was probably a thousand times more common in the Midwest today than before the wave but it was like a warning beacon to the slackers who supposedly worked on his farm.

 

He tied the bridle loosely to a rail on the newly built stockyards and walked into the gloom of the killing floor. It all looked good to him. The overhead rail, the sloping floors all newly set up so that the fat little yearlings could be turned into cash. Without cash flow he would likely as not end up as bonded labour on one of the other farms that were scattered across America. How would he feed his wife and seven children then? He pushed the thought away and returned to issue Des Jour. The hold up was the refrigeration, a full month behind schedule. It had taken less than two months to find the refrigerated semi trailers and drag them back to the farm. Now another two full months had been spent rebuilding the compressors on the refrigeration units and hooking them up to gen sets. But there were always setbacks, delays problems and issues. The crew boss was coming up with new and creative justification everyday. Mr Singh wondered if perhaps now is the time for a new Crew Boss. Nothing seemed to refocus a team like a little reshuffle at the top.

 

As always the crew boss complained about the shortage of D7, the additive required to make engines run on pre-wave 3-year-old diesoline stocks. It seemed that fuel was central issue to most of his problems. The crew boss was pleading for more D7 so his crew could salvage an emergency generator from a hospital in a small town twenty miles away. Only twenty miles, it may as well have been back home in Seattle. The first two generators had failed within 12 hours, barely enough time to chill the insulated trailers down, certainly not long enough to bring them down to the minus twenty C required to freeze solid the butchered yearling carcases. A post mortem revealed that both times the rings had burnt out in the gen-sets – probably due to the LPG fuel. The energy crew had combed the surrounding counties and had reported over two hundred LPG cylinders of varying volume, just waiting to be picked up – so it seemed the logical choice as a fuel source. Now he would probably have to expend another eight or even ten litres of his dwindling stock to get the gas fired generator. It was the damned Army that was the real bottleneck. They eked out the D7 in such tiny amounts that Mr Singh was sure that the whole rebirth of America was being stifled.

 

Mr Singh knew that one of the neighbouring farms had started using human powered transport. He had received reports of twenty man parties with pushbikes balancing a pair of fifty pound bags of grain on each bike’s frame, while it reminded him of a book about the Ho Chi Minh trail he had read years before, he figured it to be a poor use of resources. There were also stories of teams of men pulling ploughs to turn the thick black sods. Mr Singh thanked his god that he hadn’t had to do that on his farm. Yet. Now if he could just get the generator on site and working, then he could start butchering then get the meat to market and start some coin rolling in. His backers –two of his wife’s uncles from Mumbai – were starting to ask pointed questions on Email and worse were talking about visiting. If he could just start making some money that pressure would be lifted.

 

After publicly applying some toe – in- butt therapy to the crew boss he made reassuring but non-committing noises that he would pass on the D7 as soon as he got it and that he would reassign any spare labour to the team, made some encouraging noises and walked out to where his horse waited patiently.

 

He smiled to himself. Despite all the problems, he’d rather be doing this than writing code for Microsoft. It meant something to be part of the rebirth of America.

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12 March, 2009 - Posted by | Without Warning

2 Comments »

  1. Just a brief note of explanation.
    This was triggered by Murphs excellant (seriously double + good with an elephant stamp) “Falcon Masters” harsh on bleak served with a side order of grim.
    I’m not one for “Shiny Happy” but felt there was a positive story to be told.
    Also I have a bit of a Jones for fuel & transport issues.
    Hope y’all enjoyed & if it made you think – even beter.

    Comment by NowhereBob | 17 March, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hmm . . .to add spin to this story.
    Make mention of Mr Singh thinking of starting up a cricket side. Seriously. They’ve got cricket leagues and everything in the States plus quite a few Cricket stores.
    Go figure.

    (Yeah I got a real bone with baseball)

    Comment by brian | 3 April, 2009 | Reply


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