Juan was a large man who was very much a self proclaimed manly man. He stood 6’8” and nothing shy of 300 lbs of pure muscle. Remember the guy in the Green Mile who played John Coffey, Michael Clark Duncan? Yeah that was Juan. He was a man among men. Not that he was a man among men in the sense that he wore black leather assless chaps and hung out in gay biker bars. No he was a manly man in the sense that he could wrestle a bear with his bear hands. He could rebuild a carburetor with a match stick and a paper clip. He could drive everything from a stage coach to a 5000 ton end dump. He had a deep resonant voice that would make Barry White and Al Green sound like Minnie Mouse. He had a look that said “Don’t mess with me or I’ll mess you up.” I had seen this large powerful manly man pick up a side by side refrigerator in a bear hug and set it up into the back of a pickup truck all by himself. He was a force with which to be reckoned.
Yet Gladys found all 5 feet and 90 pounds of her womanly self standing toe to toe holding femine hygiene products out to this man. “Juan, just take them. I have to get back to work.” Gladys said. Juan continued to glare down into Gladys’ eyes not looking at the package she held. Gladys sighed and said once again “Juan, I have to go back to work. Take the damned Kotex so I can tell my boss I gave them to you.” “No, ma’am Miss Gladys. I am not touching them things. I will wrestle gators but I don’t touch them thangs.” Juan replied still not looking at the package. “Juan they haven’t been used. They are still in the box. Just take them” an exasperated Gladys sighed. Then she bravely thrust the box toward Juan’s hand. He jumped back and screamed like a little girl and looked at Gladys. The rest of the paint crew began to wander over to the little office clerk and the large factory foreman.
“What’s goin on here?” asked Jake the iron bender. Gladys looked around and noticed that the rest of the line had shut down and had now gathered around her and Juan. “I was told by the front office to go buy a box of extra absorbent Kotex for Juan to use in the paint sprayer. I am just trying to get him to take them, but he won’t.” Gladys demonstrated this by once again trying to put the box into Juan’s hands. Again the giant of a man screamed like a thirteen year old girl at a boy band concert and jumped back. This of course caused a great deal of glee with the men working the assembly line.
“Do it again, do it again” they cried in unison. Gladys wasn’t there to humiliate anyone nor was she trying to get clobbered, she just wanted Juan to take the Kotex and get back to work. The group cackled and teased and taunted the big man. Gladys thought the assembly line crew to be insane taunting the giant that way. Then she heard the supervisor’s voice from the back of the crowd “Gladys what are you doing down here?” She turned to see Martin the supervisor pushing his way through the crowd in a huff. “Martin, I was told to go buy some Kotex the big Economy EXTRA absorbent ones at Costco and bring them to Juan to use in his paint sprayer. He won’t take them. The fact is every time I try to hand them to him he screams like a little girl and jumps away from me. None of these other fellows will take them either” Gladys explained.
Martin looked at Gladys and then at the crowd of assembly workers who immediately started to disperse. He looked again at Gladys and said “Well hand them to him and go back to your cubicle.” Gladys knew that Juan was not going to take them although she didn’t know why. She took a deep breath and thrust the box towards Juan once again. There was a screech and Juan jumped away from the box.
Martin didn’t miss a beat and said “Juan are you married?” Juan confused looked at Martin and said “Yes sir.” To which Martin answered “Well son then you already lost your manhood. Take the damn Kotex and go back to work.”
That is the day little old Gladys made a Giant Scream and run away.