This is going to be a challenge. 

I typically write this column on Wednesday mornings … before I get any angry phone calls.

But this Wednesday morning, I could get all the angry phone calls and it wouldn’t matter, because I can’t hear the phones ring.

The street in front of The Reaper office is being fixed. Judging by the sound of it, “fixed” means they are lobbing mortar shells at the street until it is turned to dust. 

Seems a little irresponsible to be firing off artillery so close to an elementary school, but I don’t know anything about road reconstruction. For all I know, that’s just how it’s done.

I was surprised to see that they weren’t actually using explosives. It’s just a bunch of heavy equipment, which includes the building rattler, the noisemaker and the stench machine. I’m pretty sure none of this stuff is actually used to fix the road. 

You see, I think the guys on the paving crew are actually just playing a practical joke on us. 

“Ha, those suckers in The Reaper office are going to have to take so much ibuprofen,” The Foreman says. 

“Yeah, that’s funny,” Crafty McHardhat says. “Why are you doing this to them?” 

“They know what they did. Get that clatter pounder going.”

Seriously, the entire office is shaking so badly, the people who have dental fillings have asked if they can go home. 

The noise is so bad; it’s like being stuck in my 19-year-old’s playlist. 

Then things grind to a halt for a second.

“Think they’ve had enough?” McHardhat says.

“WHAT?” asks The Foreman.




As I’m sitting here, I’m thinking, that’s funny, I don’t remember putting quarters in this chair. Yet it’s like I’m getting a full body massage without the awkwardness of a stranger touching me. So that’s nice.

Another good thing is that when the equipment outside stops to breathe for a minute, we have a plumber inside the building who is sawing walls, pounding pipes and doing his best to be less disruptive than a blitzkrieg assault. It’s not good enough, but at least he’s trying.

Also, I don’t know why that’s a good thing, other than my skull has been juddered about so badly at this point I can’t even think. At this point I’m tempted to stick my head in Metallica’s drum set to enjoy the relative quiet. 

Oh good, now a semi’s backup beeper is going. And going. And going. 

Seriously, is he backing here all the way from Ohio?

“Boys, there’s just one thing left to do,” The Foreman says. “Fire up the dust disperser; I don’t want to see a clean car within six miles of here.”

“Should I turn off the clatter pounder?”

“If by ‘turn off’ you mean crank it up, then yes.”

I looked over at one of my coworkers. The window vibration is so bad I think she’s going to cry. 

She’s not the only one. 

The result of all this construction is the main entrance to our parking lot is closed off. Also, the secondary entrance to our parking lot is blocked by a dump truck that is towing what looks to be another dump truck. 

I’m trapped here at this point, which would be all right if not for the fact that I think the plumber just shut off the water. 

With no water and all these bizarre looking machines outside (I’m looking at you clatter pounder), we’re just officially just two Mohawk haircuts away from being in a Mad Max film. 

Oh well, at least I don’t have to listen to the angry phone calls. 

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