Dispatches from the City of Angels
I'm a writer and humorist living in and writing about Los Angeles. You can catch my novel LOSING CLEMENTINE out March 6 from William Morrow. In the meantime, feel free to poke around. Over at my website you can find even more blog entries than I could fit here, as well as a few other ramblings. Enjoy and come back often.
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"Taint what a horse looks like, itís what a horse be." - A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
"Trying to take it easy after you've finished a manuscript is like trying to take it easy when you have a grease fire on a kitchen stove." - Jan Burke
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"How you do anything is how you do everything."
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2006-12-18 4:50 PM
Funnel of Death
You ever get the not-so-subtle feeling God might be trying to kill you?
For the past several months, my apartment complex has been removing and replacing the roofs of all the buildings. From the sounds of things inside the apartment, the preferred method of roof tile removal seems to be picking up Volkswagons with a crane and dropping them from fifty feet right over my desk. But I'm just guessing.
Other than the sexy new facial tick this has caused, I've emerged from this process relatively unscathed. Until today.
Once you've knocked the tiles loose via Volkswagon slinging, you have to get the resulting debris off the roof. And while a canon would be fun, it violates a few dozen city ordinances. So the complex has decided to go with the slightly less cool Funnel-of-Death method.
Let me walk you through it.
Construction workers, whose qualifications I have not yet verified, take what appears to be the world's largest piece of dryer ventilation tubing - maybe six feet in diameter and four stories tall - and run it up the side of some very rickety scaffolding. They top it with the world's largest funnel, handy for tossing in roof tiles, pointy pieces of metal, bowling balls and other things that might kill you if they fell on your head.
The idea is that the killer debris will fall harmlessly through the funnel, down the tube and into the waiting super-industrial dumpster below, which has been conveniently blocking traffic on my street for the past millennium. This works fine. Right up to the point where the tubing, full of shrapnel, comes loose from the funnel and falls four stories, spewing said death rockets right - RIGHT - where I happen to be standing.
For future reference, if you ever want to know how fast you can run - how fast you can REALLY run - try standing at the bottom of a construction accident. I'm just waiting for the Olympic team to call. Any minute now...
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