Last week, the call went out to all GoatMan Hollowers for assistance with pouring the concrete pad upon which Dr. Fletcher’s new lair will be constructed. The email read something like “Calling all Able Bodied” something or others. Knowing virtually nothing about concrete pads past what I’ve seen on HGTV, I ignorantly wondered, just how hard could that be? I mean, I’ve never done this before, but, come on – how difficult could this actually be? Boy, what a maroon I am.
The call time was for 7am (oh gawd – on a Saturday – I should have known this would be a sadistic act) with a thought to have the project completed by noon or 1pm at the latest. Arriving right on time, I put on the bright yellow, size 13 plastic boots I was given over my grungiest tennis shoes, grabbed what is fondly termed the “come along” and began my 4 hour abs and lower back torture in earnest.
Mercifully, the site was shaded on many sides by mature woods, and the sun did not ascend to complete overhead misery until well after 9 am, when we were somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the way finished. Being the only GoatMan girl dumb enough to put on wading boots and pick up a “come along”, I somewhat held my own with the 13 other men who were expertly man handling the poured concrete. I was grateful for the humorous company of other masochistic GMHers as we toiled away – being careful not to trip ourselves in the poured concrete, and the always diabolical wire laid at the bottom of the pad’s form. (How’s that for pseudo construction lingo?)
After the 11th truck,(or was it the 12th- I was so dazed, confused and exhausted by that point that I really don’t remember) had disgorged its last yard of concrete, taskmaster Jay told the GMHers that we could head back to the farmhouse. I think it was so they could get us concrete novices out of the way so the real professionals could actually accomplish something. No matter, it was with great glee (and relief) that we made our way back to the house, where food and showers awaited.
My insights for the day:
- Manual laborers do not get paid nearly enough for the work they do and the conditions in which they work. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of the work day and my lower back continues to be in agony
- There really is an art to pushing and pulling concrete correctly – to the right depth and smoothness. I was incapable of grasping and /or developing the finesse for the finer points of concrete pulling, and so was relegated to being a crude sort of concrete spreader.
- This is messy, ucky hard work!
- I can now say I have pulled concrete – 7200 square feet of it to be exact. I never have to do it again and you can’t make me.
- It was really hot and yucky out – it was “Africa Hot”.
- Oh, no! I just remembered – they have video and photographic evidence of my concrete ineptitude…
- Thank God I have a white collar job.