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||Meet Leo Ferrante
By Leo Ferrante
Buffalo Chips is a comic strip that follows the employees of a Wastewater Treatment Plant in Blunder Hill, NY. Blunder Hill is a small town founded just after the Civil war. Blunder Hill is a small town with little historical interest and hardly any tourist trade. It consists mostly of small local businesses and its biggest attraction and largest employer besides the city itself, is the Quackioodle Indian Casino and hotel. The main character of the strip is Cosmo Calzone.
Cosmo Calzone - The maintenance foreman at the Blunder Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant, Cosmo has been a city employee going on twenty years, and although he appears gruff, no nonsense, and constantly perplexed while dealing with the bewildered plant manager and city administrators, he definitely has a soft spot for his employees, who range from eccentric to goofy. Just about every day is an uphill battle to keep them out of trouble. Besides being the maintenance foreman, Cosmo is also the plant union steward. Cosmo is married, has a teenage son, and a brother who is a police officer on the Blunder Hill PD.
Joe Di Vinci – Master Electrician at the plant. Joe is Cosmo’s best friend in and out of the plant and has been with the city as an electrician for over thirty years. Joe is an electrical genius but a bit of an eccentric and sometimes uses the plant’s resources to conduct personal experiments.
Gordon Rile - Junior Electrician. Gordon is a young, sarcastic, insufferable know-it-all who is always trying to upstage his co-workers. Joe Di Vinci can’t stand Gordy’s attitude and so never shares any of his secrets or shortcuts on a job, and spends a majority of his time putting Gordy in his place and undoing his mistakes.
William Boyd – AKA “Wastewater Willie” – Willie is the oldest employee on the city payroll. No one is even sure how long Willie has been working for the city, but it’s been a very, very, very long time. The rumor is that when Willie cashed his very first city payroll check he was paid in confederate dollars. Willie has three speeds when performing his duties, slow, very slow, and slower.
Derrick Lance – as the WW Operations Manager, Derrick is Cosmo’s immediate boss. Derrick took over the position from the former manager that retired. The city’s HR department hired Derrick above all the other applicants based solely on his academic qualifications, a bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately the HR clerk who hired Derrick was in a hurry to go to lunch and misread his application, what the clerk thought he read as “Bachelor’s Degree in flow management” was actually “flower arrangement”. Derrick has absolutely no idea what’s going on at the plant but the money and benefits are just way too good to pass up. Derrick relies on Cosmo to run the plant while he pretends to be in charge and dreams of becoming a professional Texas Hold ‘Em poker player.
Jerry Bettle – Maintenance mechanic. Jerry is a barely competent employee who has an opinion about everything, but is usually wrong. Jerry is constantly under foot or creating huge projects out of the simplest tasks.
Arthur Unger – AKA “Uncle Ugly” - Tool room clerk. A born hustler, always on the lookout to make a profit, collect a perk, or make a deal. Art sits in his tool room and dispenses tools and equipment like they were his own. What he can’t outright sneak home he tries to sell for a profit. Generally miserable and cranky he doesn’t like anyone and nobody likes him.
Wally O’Keefe – AKA “Where’s Waldo” - Sanitation and Housekeeping. Wally is a nice enough fellow but dumb as a box of rocks. Gullible as he is likeable, Wally tries hard to be helpful but usually creates more work than he completes. Cosmo spends a majority of his time just trying to keep Wally out of trouble and harm’s way.
Mason and Vince Morlok – Processing operators. These twin brothers shovel the processed inert material from the sediment basins and then incinerate the sludge. That’s right, the brothers shovel…inert material, for a living. Thirty years ago these two started at the bottom of the Wastewater plant and just stayed there.
Beverly Airhart – Mayor of Blunder Hill. Tough, determined, and clueless. Beverly tries to run and manage the city departments with an iron right hand stuffed into an oversized left hand glove. Constantly at odds with her department heads, she’s determined to make a name for herself by cutting costs …at any cost.
Rocco Calzone – AKA “Rocky” – Blunder Hill police officer, and Cosmo’s older brother. Crusty and sarcastic, Rocky knows all the secrets about the residents of Blunder Hill. Rocky and Cosmo are very close and despite the constant banter would do anything for each other.
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