He and She: Expanding Contractors and Other Whoas

He: “OK, riddle me this.”

She: “Happy to. Hand it over.”

He: “Hand what over?”

She: “The thing you wish me to riddle. I hope it will go through the sewing machine, as that’s the only thing I’ve got right now that will poke a lot of holes in something quickly. Even if I had a submachine gun, the neighbors would complain if I got it out.”

He: “You’re pretty good at poking holes in my arguments, without machines.”

She: “Well, somebody’s got to keep an eye on your machinations.

He: “That’s got to be really hard on the eye. I’d put it back in its socket where it belongs if I were you.”

She: “Speaking of sockets, are you going to tell me what this is all about before I pull the plug on my attention span?”

He: “Of course it’s all about! How could you have missed it? Every place you look, somebody’s building something. Even the very island’s on a building spree! And in front of most of the sites, there’s a big sign naming the contractor. I don’t know how come Pele hasn’t started doing this, she’s got the biggest job site, after all.”

She: “Doesn’t want to attract attention to herself, I guess, in case some state bureaucrat decides that her work needs to be permitted and inspected.”

He: “Oy. I can hear the screaming from this distance. Who’s the god here?!?

She: “Pele?”

He: “The bureaucrat. But, why a contractor?

She: “Every job needs a supervisor, you know.”

He: “Yeah, I know, thanks a lot, I’ve been told that enough times in my life. But, a contractor? Every site that I know of, somebody’s taking a flat piece of ground – or, at least one as near to flat as anything gets here, and putting like a five-story building on it! If that’s contraction, it’s the funniest sort of contraction I’ve ever seen. Job like that doesn’t need a contractor, it needs an expandor! Amirite?”

She: “I don’t hear about anybody making money by going onto these job sites and selling weight loss programs, so, no. Besides, somebody has to make the necessary plans and calculations before anybody sticks a shovel – or, around here, a stick of dynamite – into the ground, yes?”

He: “No. For that, you need a protractor. Or, you used to. I suppose you’ve got computers and software to do all the pencil, paper, and cheap tools stuff any more.”

She: “Nope, still need them. At least on a reputable site. Nobody’s going to want amateur tractors!”

He: “Yeah, I suppose that the likes of Caterpillar and Kubota don’t even have amateur tractors on their catalogues.”

She: “So, they’re pros, you’re telling me?”

He: “Yep.”

She: “And all this time I thought that these machines were the poetry of the building trades.”

He: “O .. my ..”


He: “I suppose I’d better be the one to tell you. Before they do.”

She: “Who’s they?

He: “You know, them. Out there!

She: “And what do you think they’re going to tell me?”

He: “That this is getting verse and verse!

She:Pft! They aren’t even going to care about the poet who only works on submarines.”

He: “The .. poet .. who ..”

She: “The subversive! Of course.”

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