Friday, 16 March 2012

Gang of 6 + one more.

There has been some action to contemplate on the platform of my local train station over the last couple of days. Some kind of serious digging is occurring.  The digging is some of the most serious that I have ever seen.  It is so serious that it requires six men, plus a spare.  

These six men all wear orange high visibility vests, hard hats, safety glasses and ear muffs.  They also carry some nifty accessories.  The must have is the broom.  It must be tall enough to lean one's chin on, comfortably, without stooping.  Building stamina for this task must take some work.  They do it for very long periods.  Three of the six carry one of these.  Two other men stand a bit aside from the action, but their concentration never wavers from the deep scrutiny under which they place the broom-leaners.  

The main guy, the king pin, the boss man, he doesn't lean on no broom!  No! He has a jack hammer! He's in the middle of the action, vibrating away.  He has uncanny timing too, only starting up the jack hammer when you've pressed the information button to find out about the next train's arrival.  As soon as the information has been given, he stops.  You press the button again, he starts with the jack hammering again.  This morning I was convinced that the green button on the information box was actually his start button.  

He's heavily protected by the broom men so you wouldn't want to take him  by surprise.  So far, I have witnessed no sweeping.  My theory is that they are like dental assistants: they have to be at the ready with their cleaning implement which may or may not be called for by the person wielding the drill.

The spare man, also wears an orange vest, but his is more formal.  It has a different logo.  He also has ear plugs sticking out of his ears, rather than ear muffs.  His job is very different from the other men's, so it makes sense.  His job is to stand on the platform with his hands behind his back.  I saw someone try to ask him something but it didn't work because he was wearing the very effective ear plugs and couldn't hear them. The ear plugs I buy are never that effective.  I can hear everything, plus my heart beating and my breathing. This guy must have them stuck in his ears with glue or something because he doesn't seem to be able to remove them.  Or he's a clone that has been specially designed for these kinds of conditions on assignment.

The two men who don't have any accessories and stand well outside the action occasionally provide support and encouragement to the man with the jack hammer and his friends with the brooms.  They say things like "we'll have to pack up at 2:30" and "no, keep going".

After two days, they have made a very symmetrical rectangular hole in the platform.  I don't know what it's for. It's quite deep and quite long.  It's too narrow to be a grave. 

I wonder whether one of the broom-leaners would come and sweep at my house.

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