Life, under construction

You don’t fix what ain’t broke, right? Stands to reason. Makes sense. Logical. If something is broke, it needs fixin’ — but if it ain’t broke (or if it isn’t broken, either one) fixin’ it would only dog some cats or run something up a tree or, well, you pick the folksy metaphor of your choice.
But I’m finding it difficult to believe that the road outside my office, the highway on which I drive and my house — my freaking house — all need fixin’. All of a sudden I live in a state of constant construction.
There’s a lot of things in my life that need some fixin’, but it seems like God’s general contractor got the wrong work order. Sure, there were some potholes on the road outside my office, but after two weeks I have to believe that the regrading and repaving job those nice, burly gentlemen in hardhats have been working on is a bit of overkill.
And sure, the Merritt is messed up. It’s more of a racetrack than a highway, but I believe the contracting company has it in for me. I am almost positive they are spying on me, and know exactly when I leave the office, so they can send out some molasses-speed tank just as I get on the highway. Its job is to back up into traffic, some bleary eyed worker doing a Supremes routine (Stop! In the name of traffic delays), and make me late for appointments. It’s a conspiracy, I assure you.
The other day, after a particularly long time spent in traffic limbo, I pulled up to the guy I believed was the foreman, and told him that he owed me 35 minutes of my life, and that I wanted them back. Unfortunately, between the beeping noise of some gargantuan hunk of machinery, the gravel spinner and the team of professional vuvuzela players, he couldn’t hear a word.
“You owe me 35 minutes!” I yelled again over the din.
“What?” was the only reply.

This guy is shoveling concrete. Really.

Then there’s the house. It’s my wife’s doing. working on the assumption that you shouldn’t fix what ain’t broke, I fought the project from the start, though I knew it was a losing battle. Between my wife and her mother, I didn’t stand a chance.
So, welcome to Construction Land, where strange guys in Timberland boots wander your property conspicuously not looking in windows, where you’re awoken at 7 a.m. by the shriek of a saw cutting stone, and where time plays by its own rules. In Construction Land, two weeks means three months, three months means a year and nobody works in the rain. I knew things were going to be bad when the truck came to drop off the port-a-potty.
The trouble is, I think the wrong work is being done. I’d love to take a wrecking ball to my marriage, for example, and rebuild from the ground up. My midsection could certainly be repaved and there are certain, um, parts of my body that could use an extension, though I will not get any more specific on that.
Then there’s New Jersey, which should probably be razed to the ground, though that wouldn’t really do the job. New Jersey is the only place I’ve ever been where you need to be in the right lane to make a left turn. Someone, probably a mob-funded municipal planner — or Satan’s representative to the state legislature, thought, “Gee, you know what this state needs? Traffic circles. A few really complicated and dangerous traffic circles would really spruce the place up.”
I think New Jersey should be a warning to all construction crews. There are roads in New Jersey that have been under construction as long as I have been alive. Whole generations of construction workers’ children owe their college educations to never-ending construction projects.

The "garden state" beckons

Then again, I suppose I, myself, am like New Jersey. I should probably walk around with a traffic cone strapped to my head, a strip of reflective tape on my butt and a t-shirt that reads, “under construction.”


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