Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It henges on your response...

Wiltshire residents made it clear to Scully Construction Inc. that it was a bad idea to crush gravel among the hills of Pewsey Vale. Not only did the English consider the hills and their ancient stone circles property of all the English, but any type of development in the area had been, at best, a modest disaster. The foreman of the Pewsey excavation paid little heed to either the requests from the National Trust or the superstitions of locals. Excavation machinery flowed into Pewsey Vale faster than appeals to halt the project and within a week workers were happily gnawing through the rocks and producing truckloads of gravel. By the second week they had nearly met their monthly quota for gravel production. This progress was soon halted by what at first looked like a nondescript stone. It had been partly hewn long ago, presumably by the druids, but had long lain discarded and covered by earth. As it passed through the stone crusher it quickly jammed the inner workings of the machine and shot blue gravel out across the site. The foreman ordered all the chunks bagged and shipped and operations shut down until crusher repairs could be made.

A few days later in a crowded suburb in Oxford, Evan Walton was carefully replacing sections of the sidewalks. Evan typically prided himself on his ability to lay concrete. On this day, however, he was completely flummoxed. No matter how carefully he smoothed the surface it still looked uneven. During his lunch break matters grew worse. As he approached the site after his meal he discovered several lumps had formed, at least a half meter high each. From his long years of experience, he knew that it was a lost cause. He would have to wait until the concrete had partially set and tear it up again. This would cost both money and especially reputation. Tossing his concrete, tools, and gravel into the boot of his car, he headed back to the office for the day.

Evan stopped by early the next morning to take a peek at the problematic walk. At first, it seemed to him that most of the nearby apartment community had discovered his mistake and had turned out to gawk at the spectacle. As he drew closer, however, he discovered that thrust into the sides of buildings and jutting out of the street and lawns were what looked like close relatives of the stone circles in Wiltshire. Evan walked over to the very center of the stone circle and discovered that his botched sidewalk was completely uprooted and all that was left was a few small pieces of blue gravel. Evan smiled and drove away content in the knowledge that his salary and reputation were in tact.

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