Monday, July 13, 2009

The End of the Concrete Workers

I spent most of Saturday sitting on my porch watching the construction workers dump concrete, wishing my 4-year-old nephew could be here to ogle the cement mixer with me. Its driver was about 250 years old and had a leather do-rag holding back his white mane. He and Bruno alternated climbing around in the spout and checking things out, only when Bruno wasn't up there he was standing in the street adjusting his junk.

We're talking pants unzipped, shirt untucked, hearty junk shaking such as I've never seen before. He put Corey to shame. Standing in the street! Where all the Greek and Italian neighbors had emerged to porch-sit and watch the action and frequently shout back and forth with Bruno in Italian. As it turns out, Frank the fig guy from across the street is from the very same village as Bruno! Yet I have never seen Frank adjust his junk...

Anyway, I have decided my favorite concrete guy is Roger (photos coming soon). Roger is the one in the Guns N Roses crop top with denim cutoffs and a ring of barely-there hair that he combs with a black plastic comb eternally jutting from his back pocket. When it came time to pour the concrete, Roger doffed his shirt and donned big yellow longshoreman boots. He actually stood among the muck and dragged a 2x4 slowly through it to make it level. Two other concrete guys pushed scrapey tools from the side, but it was Roger, knee deep in cement, who resembled a gondolier. Only he belted out Rush songs instead of Italian river ditties.

Saturday afternoon, while I was sitting on the porch watching, the men started talking about how Roger had been recently screwed out of around $1500. I actually heard Roger reference breaking someone's legs, so I knew my presumption about these guys was accurate. Don't eff with the concrete guys.

The next big dilemma was that apparently the band Ratt came to Harmor this past weekend. Roger really wanted to go, but Bruno reminded him that there are lots of DUI checkpoints along the way and there aren't really back route alternatives.

This put Roger in quite a pickle because he couldn't go to Ratt and not get wasted, but then he couldn't drive home--not because doing so is the wrong thing to do, but because there are cops out there. I have no idea what Roger ended up doing Saturday night, but he isn't here this morning helping his buddies pour the "cheeks" on our neighbors' steps. (Was Roger A) incarcerated for DUI or B) incarcerated for breaking someone's legs?)

The last phase of my summer concrete project involves ordering 6 tons of dirt to replace the cement we had ripped out from the back yard. We found a place that does next-day delivery, called them on Sunday, and, provided I haven't had the baby by this afternoon, we'll soon be the proud house with a mountain of topsoil in the front yard. Good thing Corey borrowed a wheelbarrow.

So if you're in the neighborhood later and you own a shovel, stop on by to move some dirt. We'll be here, me making iced tea helplessly and Corey sweating and cursing his way through many cubic yards of earth.

Update: Photos!



Katy said...

UPDATE: Roger was indeed at work today. When I got home from Crossfit, he was knee deep in concrete like usual. He must have just been running late this morning. Or doing work on another job in another location? That crazy Roger.

Anonymous said...

Roger was "skreeting", the other 2 were "floating or troweling"

wish i was there to help.

out with the baby allready!!

hope to see ya soon,

Snacky D said...

It looks like Ratt is playing at the Ches-A-Rena in Cheswick on the 26th... I only know this because I came across it when I found out Social Distortion is supposed to be playing there in October. I wonder if your concrete guys were confused about which weekend it is? Either way, I think Bruno is right, because I've heard a lot of people at work talk about the cops in Springdale/Cheswick/Harmar area sitting out on Freeport Road to catch drunk drivers.

Rosemary said...

I loved the addition of photos Rank. Why do you think it is that most houses in Pburgh have concrete driveways and not asphalt? I always associate concrete w/ summers spent on my grandparent's driveway.

Anna, Shady, and I were discussing over dinner last night how quickly we would get a text once baby lev is born. We guessed that you already have a text all lined up and will manage to demand Corey press 'send' while you're pushing the baby out! Wouldn't it be cool if it was born on the day of the HP6 premier?

Katy said...

i would prefer if he were born BEFORE HP6!!! i don't know why everyone has a concrete driveway. it sure would be cheaper to get an asphalt one...but it sure is purty on the other hand. i have an EMAIL all set to go, but not a text message. i'm going to rely on phone trees and people being blabbermouths for word-spreading about labor :)

ellen/mom said...

I recommend sod for the back yard! And couldn't you get them to dump the dirt in the back.Oh no, wait, that means they truck would have had to drive on your newly minted (m-m-m), concrete driveway.

I remember hearing that concrete is used so extensively in PA (like on the PA tpk because it is a big PA industry and asphalt is not. (does that make sense??)

Jane said...

When oil prices were so high, asphalt was more expensive than concrete.