An Imagined Conversation Between the Construction Workers Upstairs From Me.
BY BEN JURNEY
[Originally published June 17, 2013.]
WORKER: It’s 6:37 AM, let’s begin hammering.
SECOND WORKER: Are we nailing anything in today?
WORKER: No, we’re just striking the bare, wooden floor with our hammers.
SECOND WORKER: I’ll turn on the handsaw as well.
WORKER: Great. Let it run by itself against that wall.
SECOND WORKER: How hard are we hammering today?
WORKER: Boss wants us to alternate between hammering with great force and exceptionally great force. We take breaks when the man living downstairs leaves the building.
THIRD WORKER: Someone paged me about needing help?
WORKER: Yes, it is 6:38 AM and we need help.
THIRD WORKER: Don’t worry, my workers are currently charging up the stairs as if there were a fire. Each one is from the most unbearable part of Staten Island.
SECOND WORKER: Your men all have gigantism?
THIRD WORKER: And chronic vertigo.
WORKER: We will need help deadlifting these oil drums filled with marbles.
THIRD WORKER: Where should they go?
WORKER: You can drop them right over everywhere.
THIRD WORKER: That should take six weeks.
SECOND WORKER: Great.
WORKER: Do you know the man that lives downstairs?
THIRD WORKER: I have seen him. Was he born prematurely?
WORKER: God, I hope so. There’s no other way to justify his physique.
SECOND WORKER: He must have excelled in his early years and then plateaued dramatically once he reached puberty.
THIRD WORKER: He’ll never achieve our natural, rugged sex appeal.
SECOND WORKER: A trait expected of the American heterosexual man.
THIRD WORKER: I wonder if that haunts him.
WORKER: Isn’t he a writer?
SECOND WORKER: Jesus. Oh, of course he is.
THIRD WORKER: You know what? I think I hate him.
SECOND WORKER: Yes, me too.
WORKER: Me three.
THIRD WORKER: Let’s hammer forever.
Available in print with
The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
SUGGESTED READSConversations While Canvassing For Bill Bradley in Small New Hampshire Towns
by David Gaffen (2/10/2000)
In Search of the Red Planet
by Paul Maliszewski (3/3/2000)
Conversations I’ve Had During A Normal Day In Los Angeles, Modified To Include The Shocking Depiction Of Racism Found In Paul Haggis’s 2005 Film Crash
by Brendon Lloyd (2/6/2006)
RECENTLYShut Up About the Menopause Already, Chad
by Leah Hampton (8/31/2015)
Hungover Bear and Friends: Lose Sight of the Shore
by Ali Fitzgerald (8/31/2015)
List: Best Beards of Modernity: Five Hairy Haikus
by Nathan Patton (8/31/2015)
POPULARFirst Faculty Meeting of the Year Bingo
by Lisa Nikolidakis (8/25/2015)
“Hell is Empty and All the Devils are Here”: A Shakespearean Guide to the 2016 Republican Primary
by Emily Uecker (8/6/2015)
Donald Trump, Through the Ages
by John Flowers (8/13/2015)