"Baby Ben" had got himself into some bit of trouble back in the early 60’s. He hadn’t done much more than the rest of us are guilty of-- he just got caught. From what he could recall, he got into some sort of bar-room brawl, and found himself doing time in County.
Because Ben was just a regular contributing member of society who simply had a bad day, he was sent to do his sentence and a minimum security facility where he was expected to work it off. He had made the mistake of announcing his trade when they checked him in. "Slip" recalled this was a terrible mistake, especially when you’re a Lineman. Those who don’t know the difference only know your expertise involves electricity and will put a screwdriver in your hand, thinking you’re some sort of narrowback—and suddenly you’ll be changing out light switch covers.
Ben and another blue-collar brother, (quite possibly the accomplice of his charges,) rode in a truck to an isolated area where horses were kept on the jail farm. There was a barn & horse stalls, and the guard had instructed the two to bring power to these buildings, exploiting their announced skillset. The guard left whatever tools he found relevant with the two inmates and told them he would be back after a few hours.
As the truck rolled away, the dust cleared and the two Jailbirds stood there looking at each other. Ben walked over to the shade and sat down in the dirt, dropping his cap over his eyes. His partner followed suit & they both soon fell asleep propped up on the barn's wall.
They awoke to the sound of an angry car door slamming shut. The guard was yelling some choice words surrounding the question of why the men hadn’t done a thing over the course of several hours. Ben just sat there, motionless, aside from lifting his hat on top of his head.
He looked at the Guard cooly, and replied,
“...Well, Sir, the Civil Crew never showed up..."