One of the few advantages of being ill on New Year’s Eve was being able to stay home and watch some of the Three Stooges marathon on AMC.

One episode was titled “An Ache in Every Stake” which I hadn’t seen since getting involved in the refrigeration industry.

The main plot had Curly, Larry, and Moe as icemen in the early 1940s, delivering chunks of ice from a horse-drawn wagon when temps were in the low 100s.

One memorable sequence involved getting a block of ice up a high outdoor staircase leading from the road to a home.

Of course, the first effort involved Curly carrying a block with tongs only to have the block melt to a small cube by the time he got to the top.

Then the boys try a tong relay, only to have Curly drop the block once at the top breaking it into hundreds of small cubes.

Finally, the three haul the icebox from the house down the stairs and load up the block of ice in the box.

As they remount the stairs carrying the icebox, first the ice chunk slips out unknown to them, then they manage to lose control of the box which itself crashes into hundreds of pieces.

I won’t even begin to describe what happens when Larry asks Curly to “Shave some ice.”

The episode may not replace a refrigeration textbook, but when it comes to a chapter on “The Physical Priorities of Ice,” it’s a good one.