Home > Cuisine by Brian Schropp > A Tour Of My Local ‘Lankville O’s’ Processing Plant

A Tour Of My Local ‘Lankville O’s’ Processing Plant

Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Sometimes, my dear readers, your wishes really do come true. The news which I had secretly dreamed of since I was a little boy came via a tomato sauce-scented post card last week- ‘Lankville O’s’ CEO, Wally Denmark, was sending me a personal invitation to tour the local processing plant! It seems the company and Mr. Denmark himself have been quite pleased with not only my positive endorsement of everyone’s favorite canned pasta but also with my recipes incorporating them. What an honor!! Very few people are let into the doors to see ‘how the magic is made’ and even fewer get to see Mr. Denmark himself. The CEO was going to meet me at the plant to show me around!

Needless to say the night before the tour very few winks of sleep were had, I felt like that young boy again imagining what the inside of that processing plant was like. That morning waking up very early (7AM!!) I had my Mom prepare me a ‘Lankville O’s’ egg and scrapple sandwich with a generous side of ‘O’s’ with meat bits (my favorite type). My Dad offered to drive me there but the plant was so close it would be an easy walk.

My local processing plant 671B

My local processing plant 671B

The company is the number one job supplier to the Deep Northern Suburban Lankville area; there is one plant every .5 miles. Like the old saying goes- ‘If you are going to the Deep Northern Area don’t slip on any O’s!’ My local plant number was 671B.

Having never been to one or any other ‘working man’ type of plant before I was a little nervous about exactly where to enter and maybe having some type of large underpaid worker yell at me. As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry at all– it was like they were just waiting there to greet me! A small group of workers had a little red carpet rolled out and started clapping when I emerged from the nearby woods (the foot path was the quickest way to get there). Truckers, ready to roll out and deliver the goodness of the day, honked their horns and gave a friendly wave while I made my way across the parking lot. It was a delightful reception!

Once I made it to the group a sweaty, slightly nervous man who turned out to be the plant manager shook my hand while a few photos were snapped; then he quickly led me inside. The corporate offices were nothing to write home about even though the people were all very nice and stood and clapped while I was led through. The plant manager told me the CEO was in his private lounge (I think he has one in every plant) having a drink and anxiously awaiting my arrival. The lounge was tucked back behind the offices and seemed very spacious. The only two in there was the man himself and the bartender.

CEO Wally Denmark

CEO Wally Denmark

“Please Bri,” said Wally Denmark, flashing me a warm smile. “Come over here and have a drink with me.”

I had the barkeep whip up a nice cold glass of strawberry milk (which had to be brought from the cafeteria since there was only hard alcohol stored in the bar).

“First off I hope my physical appearance does not disturb you. There are some nasty rumors going around saying I had these implanted into my forehead at a young age. Sure, I was a born billionaire and could have had that done but it’s really not true. This is just an unfortunate bone growth that only looks like horns. It does give the impression of absolute evil but I believe myself to be quite the opposite.” With the push of a button on the bar the plant manager came back in to nervously tell me how nice and supportive the CEO was. I told Mr. Denmark I was so excited about seeing the plant I didn’t even notice the horns.

“And I personally wanted to give you this tour not only for the mention in the paper which always helps sales but also because of your unique uses for the ‘O’s.”

“Glad you enjoy them.”

“Well I never tasted any of your ‘cutting edge ideas’ myself. You see, the last few months my company has been under what is known as a ‘hostile takeover’. Believe it or not some company out of the depths of Southern Lankville scrapped up enough money plus influence and tried to buy their way onto the Executive Board. I really thought they had me, these swine were right on the verge of getting into my company when I decided to have them over for dinner. They thought I was having them over so as a sort of ‘peace offering’– little did they know what was in store for them! My personal chef made a VERY generous helping of your “Lankville O’s Gelatin Dinner time Surprise’ and needless to say the group was soon gone. I feel a little indebted to you in a weird roundabout way.”

I didn’t understand what he meant. Did these folks take my recipe for their own purpose? I mean, I never kept it a secret. Ultimately, I decided I really didn’t care– I was just here to see the plant and told him so.

“Yes, let’s get this tour underway, I have ‘hostile takeovers’ of my own to work on later.”

Plant workers dong their best to make every can special

Plant workers dong their best to make every can special

If you thought your typical ‘Lankville O’s’ processing plant was big from the outside you should see the inside!! We walked around the security railings which were on every level (Mr. Denmark doesn’t like to get himself dirty getting on the actual work floor). He rattled on about the facts and figures of the whole operation- how many cans were made each day at each plant and how much sauce it took etc etc. Would even go into detail about each machine and how it functioned. I’m sure he was telling me this so I could use the information for future articles. Embarrassingly however, in my excitement I left my notebook at home so no details were written down. I did enjoy watching all the employees hard at work trying to make each and every can special. I was trying my best to ignore all the ‘on site accidents’, the fingers and other body parts being sliced open or torn off with said parts just tumbling down the conveyor belts. Wally would shake his head and say “those things happen in big commercial operations.”

My favorite part of the tour came right near the end. Mr. Denmark turned to me.  “Say Bri, I hear your favorite type of ‘Lankville O’s’ are the ones with the special meat bits.”
However did he know?!!!!
“I can show you where they are made. They have their own special section of the plant, we rarely show it to outsiders.”
Nodding eagerly, I was led over to the back most section of the plant. The stench hit me like a ton of bricks before even getting there. Mr. Denmark put a handkerchief over his nose.

​The 'Killing Floor'

​The ‘Killing Floor’

“Sorry about the smell, this what we call ‘The Killing Floor’.”
The bloodshed was a bit to take in a first but I soon got used to it. “Wow, it looks like a horror movie!”
“There is such a high demand for meat bits in the cans that we need to process large amounts of meat quickly. We are lucky that Pondicherry allows us to use some things besides the ‘normal’ meat- stray animals, super squirrels, and the very occasional hobo.”
“But it tastes so good in the can.”
“That’s the magic of the meat machines I showed you earlier, it can take all that rotting meat and turn it into those delicious bits that the public enjoys. Weren’t you paying attention earlier?”
Mr. Denmark showed me a few more features of the plant and then he had to go. He quickly thanked me again, shook my hand and was off to the roof where a helicopter was waiting for him. The plant manager was back to escort me out– he was a lot less nervous but not nearly as nice. He said I had to get off the property as soon as possible or else he would call the police. I quickly tried to make my way across the parking lot back to the foot path, trucks were whizzing by me honking their horns yelling at me to get out of their way. My tour was officially over.
Could this experience ever live up to my childhood expectations? Of course not. Would it have been nice to maybe get at least one free can of ‘Lankville O’s’ (with meat bits) out of it? Yes. But all in all it was a very good day. Thanks again to CEO Wally Denmark and everyone involved for setting this up. Until next time please keep your minds and mouths open to new ideas. Happy Eating!!-Bri
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