By Tony Hicks
Friday, November 14th, 2008 at 2:04 pm in Uncategorized.
Most of us dream of quitting a job with a bang.
St. Anthony, Idaho Mayor — or, rather, former mayor, Bill Beck, resigned his post Wednesday night at a city council meeting after getting frustrated, and telling the crowd that they were stupid. Then he told his colleagues they were stupid.
Then he told the town to go to hell.
I like Bill Beck. I don’t care what his party or beliefs. I want to vote for Bill Beck. Unless he advocates kicking puppies or thinks AC/DC is better with Brian Johnson than Bon Scott. That I can’t go for.
The closest I ever got to properly quitting a job was when I did construction in my early 20s. I was the guy who, when it rained, I had to go down in the hole and empty it with a pump. I once did it in a storm and almost died in a storm-swelled sewer.
I was working in the pit that later became the building rights across the street from that nice fish restaurant towards the end of Lafayette (don’t ask me for details – it was 1988 and I’ve incurred a lot of brain damage since then). Everyone else went home because the hole was too wet. But the foreman said I had to stay and pump out an elevator pit – which was lined by concrete at the bottom. He said ALL the water had to come out, but the pump only pumped down to about a half-inch above the bottom. He said it was easy – handing me a shovel and suggesting I climb down into that pit and hit the concrete with the shovel until it broke enough to put the pump inside.
Then he hauled his walrus-frame to his truck and left.
What the hell – he said it would work, so I tried. I repeatedly smashed the shovel against the concrete, which barely chipped. Meanwhile, with every Herculean stroke, water would splash up and hit me in the face.
Finally I got mad. I was going to break the concrete once and for all, then go home and drink a Budweiser. Because that’s what construction workers did in 1988. I’d probably roll down the window and yell at girls I didn’t know on the way home – because that’s what construction workers did in 1988. I brough the shovel far above my head, and sent it down with a mighty thrust …
Right into my foot.
The screams were awful. Hopping on one foot and re-defining the art of cursing, I wound up like an Olympic hammer-thrower, screamed one last profanity, and hurled the shovel as far across the site as I could.
That was it for my construction career.
I assume the water dried up eventually, because last time I checked, there was a building there. But no thanks to me.