Ellis William Ross, P. Eng. (Genius).
Woulda been 75 this year.
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
True Ellis story (and before I start, you need to know that Ellis was 5’8″, went about 260 lbs at the time, and pretty much always had an unlit cigar jammed in his mouth):
Dad got called up to Newfoundland on a job. Silly bugger left his briefcase back in Nova Scotia, in which was his wallet, ID, cheques…pretty much everything he might need.
Rental car was already booked and paid for, but as we pulled into St. John’s we had a flat. Dad walked into the local branch of the Royal Bank, sauntered up to the counter and told the teller he wanted $500 from his business account.
“Of course, sir,” she replied, “Do you have a cheque?”
No, said Ellis. I forgot them in Nova Scotia.
“Well, then, do you have your client card?”
No, said Ellis. It’s with my cheques.
“Do you have some ID?”
No. My ID is with my client card.
“Sir…I can’t just give you money. I don’t know who you are.”
Look, says Dad, call the main branch in Truro and tell them “Ellis is here and he wants some money.”
“Ellis?” the teller asks, “Is that your first name or your last name?”
Dad grins. I told you. Call the main branch in Truro and tell them Ellis wants some money.
“But that’s a long distance call,” croaks the teller.
By now a manager had wandered over. He wants to know what the problem is. The teller explains, best she can, as Dad slaps a $20 bill on the counter. “That will cover the long distance charges.”
“Make the call,” says the manager.
The teller goes to the phone. After about two minutes she comes back with a big grin on her face and starts counting out the withdrawal.
Dad asks her what’s so funny.
“Oh…nothing,” she answers, “Just something struck me funny, that’s all.”
Dad signs the slip, pockets the cash and heads for the door.
I had to know. “Tell me exactly how that phone conversation went.”
The teller can barely contain herself.
“I told them it was Main Branch St. John’s calling and I had a man here said to tell them ‘Ellis wants some money’….They asked me, ‘Is he short?’…I said yes…then they asked me ‘Is he fat?’….I said yes…then they asked me ‘Does he have a cigar in his mouth?’…I said yes. They said, ‘GIVE HIM THE MONEY.'”
Happy Birthday, Pop. Miss you.