Is all this construction a plot?

Jun 5, 2014 By Clair McFarland

This June has brought a few interesting things into my life, including a miller (the insect) who likes to fly out of my medicine cabinet in a rage, a 4-year-old's request to confront the day and the outdoors wearing only Superman undies -- and construction.

At first, I didn't understand the concept of widespread construction throughout Riverton as an efficient design, but rather as an elaborate scheme to take over the town.

Perhaps, I thought, these construction crews had concluded that this town ain't big enough for the ten-thousand-and-two of us, and that some gutter-gutting would thin us out. Certainly a little western swagger is permitted when somebody lets you drive an excavator all day.

I've never driven an excavator, but I once drove an enviable red truck because my dad had accidentally taken the keys to my Saturn on an airplane with him but left his truck keys behind.

I believe the bat signal was employed, as well as tanks and a town-wide effort to evacuate the streets, before I left the seat of (horse)power and vowed to stick to small cars and bicycles for transportation. (Until, of course, my procreative lifestyle would demand a Yukon.)

But an excavator -- now that's a whole different level of power. I'm sure any guy (or gal, though I have yet to see one thus occupied) driving a construction rig harbors thorough fantasies about what he (or she) would destroy on a "Falling Down" sort of day.

I had suspected local construction crews of embracing therapy through widespread destruction, or else of being former Lander Valley High School basketball players reliving the old rivalry grown-up style, but then The Husband explained: "they have to have crews working all over the place and the whole town torn up at once because summer only lasts a short while, and they've got a lot to accomplish."


That theory makes sense, though it renders the trench in my front yard far less intriguing. It also reminds me of The Husband's role as the household voice of common sense.

Wait, I've got common sense. So much, in fact, that my brother once said "you can do my homework for me, and I'll shut the refrigerator door for you, OK?"

Despite my tendency to misunderstand excavators, trucks left unattended, and refrigerators, I'm aware that Riverton's roads and gutters will be beautified -- er, made functional -- by a process that makes Riverton bear temporary resemblance to Gotham City on a bad day.

This whole construction process is like eating lettuce every day: not a lot of fun, but the results should be great.

Since I failed to get my Yukon out of the garage before the end of my driveway became the Grand Canyon, the process is especially bitter for me. You could say I have transcended lettuce-construction and am enduring kale-construction.

I may go out into that Yukon -- in the garage -- today and watch the excavation show through the windshield while making engine sound effects with the children and pretending to have adventures in a sepia-colored Gotham with both Batman and a fully-clothed Superman. And then I'll explain to the children that even though we can't drive anywhere right now, by summer's end we'll be splashing and collecting worms along the finest gutter in the West.

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