Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Comedy Endings & Close Shaves.

I hope that when my time comes, it isn’t as a result of something dull or predictable. I quite fancy queuing up in front of St Peter at the pearly gates and giving him a jolly good laugh. 

My favourite comedy ending is the Great Boston Molasses Flood which happened in 1919 in the North End part of Boston (where we stayed on the first night of our USA recent trip). 

A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses (2,300,000 US gal) rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph. 

Witnesses said that as it collapsed, there was a loud rumbling sound, like a machine gun as the rivets shot out of the tank, and that the ground shook as if a train were passing by.

The collapse unleashed an immense wave of molasses between 8 and 15 ft high. The molasses wave was so powerful, it broke the girders of the Boston Elevated Railway and lifted a train right off the tracks. Nearby, buildings were swept off their foundations and crushed. Several blocks were flooded to a depth of 2 to 3 feet. 

Anthony di Stasio, who walking home from school with his sisters, reported being picked up by the wave and surfing it along the street!

Sticky mess.

The event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.

It seems that The Great Boston Molasses Flood is a somewhat forgotten part of Boston history – Stephen Puleo, author of the book ‘Dark Tide’ puts it very eloquently, “Boston likes big stories with big names. The Molasses Flood was about poor Irish and Italian immigrants. And because it was molasses rather than fire or water, it often raises a bit of a giggle.”

Well, I think I’m guilty as charged on that last point! It’s hard not to ‘get stuck in’ to a ‘sticky end’ my old ‘treacle’!

So I’m going to do my bit to spread the word – watch this short clip of The Great Boston Molasses Flood if you want a more substantial version.

Maybe not so comedy after all. 


What made me think of this was an e-mail I got from Tris this morning. 

“Good thing I wasn’t an hour later last night…. <<web link>>
That’s where I got my dinner from!”

On Sunday evening, we braved the Manchester inclement weather and headed into town to the hub of The Manchester Food & Drink Festival in Albert Square. 

It was a very damp affair, but we persisted and sampled the full range of ales available in the ‘Oktoberfest’ beer tent and had a really good, if somewhat explosive curry from one of street stalls.

When they said Stein - I thought they meant 'Rick'!

Beer tent.

That's a happy face.

Old Speckled Toad & Ploddington's

Any more of those and I'll be growing a beard & singing folk music!

Yesterday (Monday) evening, Tris had a meeting in the city centre, so stayed in town and went back to Albert Square to try out some more treats from the street vendors. He plumped for a touch of Creole from the Seychelles in a vain attempt to recapture a bit of summer. 

It seems that this was also an explosive meal, because that’s what it did an hour later - it quite literally exploded! Check out the photos in the article.

 “Flamin’ Nora, you could have been toast!” I replied.

 I know it’s not a laughing matter (and clearly painful and traumatic for those involved – get well soon!), but Holy smoke, my husband could have been BBQ-ed! How would he have explained that to St Peter?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! Imagine cleaning up all that molasses! And I'm glad Tris wasn't an hour later :-)