Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Boring Man's Naughty Bits

Today the boring man showed me his naughty bits.
This is the one that caused all the trouble yesteday.  Once I got a good look at it, I understood the problem.  Don't you think that when he said, "Hang a right!" the bit understood "Hang ten!"   Is it me or does that bit look like a little foot?  It looks just like the hang ten symbol.
At any rate, I finally understood how they turn the bit.  They use the swoop on the end of the bit to ease into a direction change.  Putting the bit at 12 o'clock puts the curled up toes straight up and makes the bit come up toward the surface.  Putting the bit at 6 o'clock puts the toes down and it swoops deeper.  In theory, putting the bit at 3 o'clock, as they kept doing yesterday, would make it turn right.  This bit must have come from the Obama administration, because no amount of coaxing could get it to move to the right.

So, the first order of business today was to dig an enormous hole to circumvent the naughty bit.  The plan was to drill another hole in the right direction and thread the cables through both holes, thereby making the turn.  Only once they got the hole dug and got down there to detach the bit, they found another naughty bit:
This is the collar that holds the bit on.  See the crack down the length of it?  That crack allowed the bit to be screwed on to the end of the pipe with such force that it could not just be unscrewed.

They had to climb down in there and work on it.  Then they had to get a tool.  And then another tool.  And finally when they had their Rube Goldberg arrangement all set up, the bit was still on there so tight that they had to give a shout out to Archimedes and go in search of a lever long enough.  Finally a length of fence post pipe was put into service and the bit was removed.
They thought everything was going well and they would have the driveway clear in time for carpools and homecomings.  Until they saw how close they were to the gas line.  See the metal bit in the bottom of the photo?  See the orange gas pipe in the top of the photo?  This was the view into a hole cut in the driveway, so they could spot the gas line.  I thought it would be fine, but they kept muttering about $15,000 fines and never working again and something about spreading pine straw, so they pulled back, pointed the toes of the bit down and tried again.

At this point the King of Boring knows he has blown his deadline and knows he is about to die, so he has crawled down into the tomb. 
Actually, he had to take over from the boring man down there.  Remember how I called him Mr. Arachnaphobia?  Well, he confided in me today that he has a deathly fear of snakes.  He told me, as an illustration of how badly the job was going, that when he jumped down in the hole to unscrew the bit, a little ring necked snake had fallen in the hole with him.  Happily, we did not have to wait for him to go home and change his britches.

So, now all the wires are pulled and the dirt is all filled back in.  Can the boring crew go home?  No!  Georgia power forgot to tell them about one line coming from the pole at the street to the transformer, so they'll be back tomorrow.

If it's not one thing, it's another. 

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