It took fourteen twelve-plus hour days, but on his last day before going home, his co-workers bore witness to a sight generally reserved for Pete’s closest relations.
Pete could only shake his head and smile after it happened. Only moments before, he actually felt like he was getting the hang of the job. He was almost able to anticipate the tasks, and he was receiving more and more responsibility. But he should have known he couldn’t hide them forever.
“Peter! What are you doing with your lips?” called the driller from inside the doghouse. The doghouse was a climate-controlled reasonably clean enclosure on the rig where the men who performed the drilling accomplished their work. They had a full view of the rig floor and the derrick, and were responsible for every aspect of the operation, including everyone’s safety. This meant that they scrutinized the floorhands as they, in turn, handled the lethally heavy pipe and machinery.
It was during this scrutiny that they noticed Pete’s lips doing their thing.
“Fart!” muttered Pete. He looked up smiling. He knew exactly what they just saw and while slightly embarrassed, was proud to be among men who were so direct.
Pete himself only became aware of his unconscious lip movements during a night of intense foosball competition in highschool. But little by little, anyone who had a chance to watch him focus on a task was rewarded with an uncommon sight. One only has to picture Mr. Ed (the talking horse) as he cleaned the peanut butter from his gums to get an idea of what they saw. As for Pete, his bottom lip attracted and held the attention, what with its size and agility. But just when it seemed like the performance would be a solo, his top lip took over. Then his bottom lip would jump in on the action once again.
Then, upon discovery–like any unsanctioned contest–the fleshy duel between these kissers inevitably ended. Distancing themselves from each other, the two fighters revealed a set of great teeth that crowned a widening smile. No victor was ever declared. None was ever called for. Everyone knew the money was in the rematch anyhow.