My company is shortly going to be running an ad in a trade journal. Because we’re in a small niche, I don’t see the need for anything fancy; because I’m not a serious entremanure, I don’t see any reason for the ad to be serious. You – AND I MEAN YOU – can vote for which bad joke we put in the ad.
Option 1: A picture of a riveted steel-beam to steel-column connection, with the caption “Riveted? So are we.”
Option 2: A picture of steel bracing holding up a gutted masonry building, with the caption “Bracing yourself for renovation? We can help.”
Option 3: A picture of a masonry arch with the caption “Our overarching concern is your structure.”
Option 4: A picture of two polar bears getting down, getting funky.
Photo number ten is a Schrafft’s – a long-gone NYC restaurant chain. Pertinent:
A couple wants to have kids but have been unable to conceive. Their respective doctors check them out and nothing is wrong physically. Her OB/GYN mentions to her that the stress the couple is creating for themselves may itself be preventing conception.
The wife says “Then what should we do?”
The doctor says “Stop worrying about what day it is. Stop thinking about children. You love your husband, right? Well, when you want to, make love. Things will work the way they’re meant to.”
Three months go by, the wife comes back to the doctor and, sure enough, she’s pregnant. The doctor says “If you don’t mind, tell me what happened.”
The wife blushes. “We were eating dinner and my husband dropped his fork. We both reached down to pick it up and when our hands touched under the table it was like an electric spark. We knew we had to make love right then and there.”
The doctor says “That’s fantastic.”
The wife says “Well, I guess. They won’t let us into Schrafft’s anymore.”
Notice how the suburban street pattern sort of peters out? You know why? The “meadowlands” are a fucking swamp, which is why no one built much there until the late 20th century.
Google has let me down, but I believe George Washington made all sorts of disparaging comments about north Jersey after having to march through the mud of the meadowlands while fleeing his disastrous battles of Brooklyn and New York.
Stupidity, like the Inferno, contains levels, each worse than that before.
Some years ago, an artist created a bull sculpture and left it in the middle of Wall Street in the dead of night. After some debate it was kept and moved to the north end of Bowling Green. Tourists like to pose with it, like to photograph it, and, based on where the bronze is shiniest, like to fondle its scrotum.
Because of some random threat and/or paranoia, the police erected a barricade around the bull during the Occupy Wall Street encampment last fall. Apparently, there were credible and immediate threats to the safety of the sacred animal. Because a barricade prevents nothing, the police have a seemingly-permanent presence nearby.
This morning I had to go to my office for ten minutes to retrieve some paper I left on my desk. As I walked by the bull, there were some thirty tourists jockeying for position for the perfect photograph. Since the sidewalk is narrow and made narrower by the barricades, most of them were in the street.
The cop in the car got on her bullhorn* and told the tourists that they were creating a safety hazard and had to immediately get back on the sidewalk.
I was gone – into the subway – before the arrests, SWAT teams, and napalming commenced.
For the record, NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission rules posted in every cab, state that the meter shows the fee on all trips but that for out-of-town trips the cabbie and passenger may agree to a different fee. So, putting aside Mr. Banker’s criminal assault, he was wrong on the basic fact.
There’s also the fact that his employers have an account with at least one limo service that he could have used.
I’m currently in Indianapolis but let’s discuss my last meet meeting yesterday. An architect and I met with our client, a lawyer about to spend a few million gutting his Fifth Avenue duplex. We were going over the design – which is complete and filed – and he kept making suggestions for “improvement”. The fact that nearly everything he said wouldn’t work for one reason or another – the building code, acceptable limits on vibration, gravity – didn’t bother me much. His attitude, that he had to explain the obvious to a couple of idiots, did.
Let’s see how much contempt we can find in one conversation:
I spent four years studying and another four working just to qualify to take the exam for my engineering license. Apparently, this was all unnecessary, as a lawyer knows just as much about structural analysis and design. The training required for a law degree and license is, of course, irreplaceable.
Since my supposed expertise is meaningless, there’s no legitimate justification for my fee. I am therefore a whore who should be willing to do anything if paid.
Despite numerous client/architect/engineer discussions during the design phase, our filed plans aren’t what he wants. We are therefore incompetent whores.
The most depressing part is that our quitting wouldn’t even dent his sense of self righteousness.