The workmen arrived at the site where they’d been building a roadside sign between a field of tall weeds on one side and a highway on the other.
Okay, said the first workman. Today we got to frame the thing out. Simple, except for what I said yesterday. The boss says we got to do the corners with fancy dovetail joints. I swear, but it’s a total waste to use dovetail joint to frame a simple outdoor sign. Oh well. It’s a job.
Yah. That’s true, said the other, just as they were both distracted by the sight of a dog walker coming their way in the distance. He stood paused momentarily, letting his dog intently browse through a large clump of weeds to the side.
Look at that, said the first workman. That dog is lucky. That is the kind of owner a dog needs. He’s not rushing the dog. He’s not impatient. He knows that the dog relies on him to have a full life—he knows the dog needs very little to be completely happy. Something as simple as when walking the dog letting the dog take the lead like he is. He stops and lets the dog nose into the weeds. He’s got no clue what’s in the dog’s mind. Most people pull the dog away. That is cruel. What if every time you or I paused to enjoy something some strange giant we’re attached to pulled us away? Very cruel are most dog walkers. But not that one. Well, here—what’s on the agenda for today? Ah, yes—time to make the frame. And, the problem today is, dovetails. The boss wants the corner joints to be dovetailed. Ain’t that the shit? You know, when I was scanning down the plans when I went up to get them from him, I stopped there. I mean, the gold and the lead and the huge posts and the deep holes were bad enough, but—dovetailed joints? On a signframe in the outdoors built out with common two by fours?
Pushing out my chest, I said, hey, boss, I can live with the solid gold and the lead and the posts and everything, but—this is not a woodworking cabinetry style pretty-boy project. There is absolutely no need to do things as difficult as dovetails—
But his hand went up, chopping off my words—and the worst was, his hand turned palm out! Do you know what it means when that particular boss puts up his hand in that particularly abrupt way, and, to boot, hey hey, palm out?
No, said the watcher—the dog had accomplished whatever it needed to hidden nose-deep in the weeds, and turned began pulling the walker toward them.
It means don’t go too far with the questions—after a while, my man, I have learned that there is a point when questioning authority of any kind where the questions though if the words are analyzed are still questions but the questioner whose aura attitude tone and all says this is a statement—and this statement is that—you are a shithead you know that boss? You are stupid—I needed to know what that smell was in the weeds—I really really needed to know I did I did I did I did—but you pulled me away—I—I have forgot the question I was trying to say but you have yanked my leash have said come boy, come now—and yanked me down, to only being capable to say two words nearly the tiniest sentence you ever said which is, Yes, boss—followed by a rain of kisses all over the sweet bosses butt saying great job, what an idea, Lord I would never have thought to do it this way, a great boss is only a great boss when the reason they’re a great boss is absolutely apparent it’s not only that they are wearing a medal saying the greatest but that behind that medal is a worthy over worthy chest deserving of it being pinned on—yes, boss. Great, boss. Of course, we’ll do dovetails. Even though it is stupid. Even though, when I go to Merchy-Mark’s Discount Framing Lumber Warehouse, there will be laughter enough when I say what is the project that if a giggle were a candleflame and a laugh were a matchlight and that were multiplied by the number of people in the economy working lumber discount warehouse jobs for minimum wage or even and more likely completely off the books paid only in cash to get by who would laugh at the notion of cornering a rough outdoor signframe with cabinetry-grade dovetail joinery, the magnitude of the communal laugh, if converted into actual firs, would dwarf the now-legendary Chicago version, of which remnants of the destruction are still apparent in that fair city today—uh. Oh. Ah.