I had TOP-reader visitors yesterday—Dave and Emily Levingston from Springfield, Ohio stopped by. I don't normally take the whole day off when visitors come, but I've been stressed out by the construction work across the street. The problem is what is known as a "back-up beeper." Although an innocent-sounding and anodyne name, it is actually a torture device inflicted on surface-dwellers by the imps and demons of Hades. As those evil fiends know, the piercing intermittent shriek doesn't just disturb the peace, it shreds it, eviscerates it—raising stress hormones in humans and animals, interrupting thought, troubling repose, and gradually wearing down the fortitude and resilience of humans until both the pits of their stomachs and their forebrains are degraded to rotting jelly. Who can work?
But relief is coming. The culprit is a boom lift, which consists of a heavy mobile ground unit on four fat tires and a telescoping, articulated arm with a large basket at the end of it, from which the entire shebang can be controlled. Devils have decreed that shrieking must be emitted not just every time the ground unit moves, but every time the basket moves—nice touch, Mephistopheles! The roofers had to rent it to repair and re-roof the steeple, which couldn't be done easily by normal methods. They finished the steeple last night at sunset—see picture—and this very day, O blesséd day, is their last day with it—it gets repossessed from the foul archfiends they rented it from tomorrow morning. I am damaged but not perished, so if I can make it through today I should be able to recover.
I could write a whole essay about the idiocy and ineffectiveness of the back-up beeper—although I hesitate to admit this, I have researched it—which, like everyone taking their shoes off at airports, is a cure worse than the disease. But if I gab on about that it might be like torture to you, so I will forbear.
More about Dave's visit in the next post.
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