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Lifting Concrete for Fun

2 comments | 11:26 pm | top |
How cool is this? Click here to go to the website where I found this bizzare picture.

Ben had rung, and I'd agreed to head over to his place on the day after the Christchurch march to protest Sue Bradford's anti-discipline bill. He was putting down a new pathway from the front door of his house, down to the footpath.
Phone call at 11:10am - "Hi Ben, hey, what time did you want me to be there?" "10 minutes ago" Ahhh.... So that was it. I was dead tired - in fact I was still asleep. My $10 DressMart shorts, the good old checkered wool/cotton shirt that was still holding together would do the trick. Where was that hoody? Under a pile of clothes, far side of the bedroom - there it was, sweet.

Four pieces of going-stale bread from the bakery my Sister works at. Two sandwiches. Spread one with Pear sauce that looks and tastes like baby food - the other with a decent layer of Semi-soft butter. I squash my breakfast into the right pocket of the hoody that Thomas gave me before he left for Spain. About $5 in change in the left pocket there - my entire legacy - save some assets that I really should turn into cash.

So I'm out the door, my V360
flip-phone in the right pocket of my shorts. - the phone that I bought off my brother when he upped to a Moto Razr3 - and initiated my re-commitment to Vodafone, after about 4 months backsliding, getting involved with such vices as Telecom. Why can't they make shorts like they used to? "Those shorts are all crinkled and faded" Mum kept saying... So I had bought these 'el cheapo shorts - the kind with pockets that aren't deep enough. Maybe I will take up that offer after all, and buy out Nike.

"What are you doing back here?... Is that for lunch?" It's Jenny on Checkouts down at the supermarket where I used to work. They pretty much idolise me down there - on those occasions that I grace them with my presence... I don't encourage it, but you know... what can a guy do? I bring Jenny down to earth by letting her know that
no, this bottle of G-Force Blackcurrant and Apple is my breakfast. So it's a quick wall out of the small "local" shopping mall, hi to Andrew the trolley boy, and I pull the 10speed (or is it a 12speed? who knows). If someone wants to steal the thing, they can go for it. I only paid $30 or $40 for it, but it goes like the clappers.

I manage to choke down the bread with copious quantities of "the good stuff" as I bike off down Grahams Road. Just before I get up to Memorial Ave, I've completed my breakfast, and so leave the empty bottle in a green bin at the side of the road. I tell you what, it's quite satisfying to have a good feed but have no mess left to clean up afterwards.

Unbelievable
. I manage to get to Ben's place without getting lost, and without a map. Sure, I used to live right in this area about three year ago, but still, pretty good. "Sorry to be late mate. There's no excuse really" Ben doesn't make me feel any better about the situation, but to his credit, he doesn't make me feel any worse either. "put your bike round there" he says.

"Your mission is to put this path in the trailer". Dammit, why didn't he add on if you choose to accept it? He shows me how to swing the sledgehammer, and to his question "have you swung a sledgehammer before", I respond nochalantly: "oh yeah, once or twice, not much aye..." I thought afterwards, heck, I've never used one of these. The trick is Ben told me, you let the weight of the thing do the work for you. You stand up, lift the weapon up over your head, and then let it begin to fall, in front of you. As it falls, you crouch down, letting it pivot from as close to the ground as possible.

"Here you go" Ben gave me an uncomfortable pair of goggles - they look cool on your head though, a decent pair of gloves that hadn't been worn all that much, and a thumping great "crowbar". One of those crowbars that is over 6foot long and is just a straight bit of steel - tapered at one end, and like a flat bladed screwdriver on steriods at the other end. "There's a ramp". My boss motioned to the 10cm piece of weatherboard that rattled in the wind from where it was, leaning on the "front" tailgate of the trailer. Oh, and it's $12 an hour. Oh yeah, not bad, with no tax...

"don't pulverise the concrete" was Ben's parting piece of advice before he headed inside to watch last night's episode of friends and experiment with a new blend of coffee. Ben strolled inside. Luxury. I stared in stunned silence at the daunting task that lay ahead of me. Flippin heck, I just wanted to head over to Northlands and watch a movie or something. The "Bob's Mobile Bagels" van pulled up outside the gate. Bob staggered under the weight of the commercial-sized catering box as he walked down the existing pathway to the front door. He grinned at me but I stared at him blankly. The smell of hot bacon, under-done onions and tomato sauce was killing me.

As Bob wandered off back down the pathway to his suzuki minivan, I stood to one side to let him pass. "Sorry mate - gotta eat these while they're nice and hot" Ben called out as he slammed the front door of his fortress. The bolt slammed home and I was alone, outside in Bishopdale. Then the rain began. First a steady but light drizzle, and then the heavens opened up above me, and the ominously dark rain clouds just opened up. Maybe they'd just finished watching "An Inconvenient Truth?" Maybe not. I would never know.

Fogged up goggles were no good. I raised them above my forehead and, throwing my hoody onto the trampoline, I unbuttoned the top two buttons of my shirt. Sleeves already rolled up, just as I'd found the shirt under a blanket on my bed from a few days ago, I set to.

Through the fog, I heard snatches of that dodgy Black Eyed Peas song blaring out from the radio inside... "
What you gon' do with all that junk?..." Why couldn't they play a bit of Coldplay or something.

Well, there you go. If anyone is actually keen to hear the rest, let me know, and I'll consider writing it.

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2 Comments:

Blogger J.W.McGarvey said...

Yes please, give us some more.

5:47 pm, April 06, 2007 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Hmmm... I doubt I will.

8:41 pm, April 09, 2007 

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