The office was empty with the exception of a few people; the manager, his secretary
and a few mid-shifters who had nothing better to do than wait for work. They
all busied themselves with time-wasting work until something came
up, and the mid-shifters, Tom Davis and Hec Monroe, watched TV. Most businesses
like their offices to be buzzing with activity, but for this
business an empty office was a good thing- it meant work was being
done and money was rolling in.
The manager, however, was always in the market for more work.
And work, it seemed, needed to be done on a very special project. He set his
desk phone back in its cradle with a sharp grunt, one that indicated annoyance.
"Davis! Monroe! Get in here!" he shouted into his office intercom.
While he waited for the two men to shut off the TV and come in, he lit a fat
cigar and rolled it between his fat fingers.
Davis was the first through the flimsy office door with Monroe right behind
him. "Yeah, Boss?" Davis asked nervously.
The Boss pointed the tip of his smoking cigar at his phone. "That was
the foreman on the Greenville job. You know what he just told me?" he asked
the two men hotly. Davis and Monroe shook their heads wordlessly- how could
they know? They'd been watching Ricki Lake for the last hour, not listening
in on the manager's phone line. "He tells me," the Boss informed them,
"that there's a perfectly good stretch of road off Hutchis Street. Now,
why do you suppose that is?"
Monroe groaned. "Aw, hell, Boss. How're we supposed to know
about that? You got us workin' clear on the other side o' town all week."
The Boss scowled. "And how's that goin', anyway?" he asked.
Davis shrugged and answered for his partner. "Not bad," he said.
"Just this morning we saw a Jeep with a cracked axle next to a dilly
of a pot hole on Purvis Drive- while it was raining. Now that's
The Boss grinned cruelly as he shoved his Havana cigar back into his puffy
mouth and sucked on it thoughtfully. "Good," he mumbled through a
puff of smoke. "Real good. I want you two to leave that spot
alone for a while and work on that patch I just told you about."
David and Monroe looked at each other with mild surprise. "Now?"
"No! Not now, you moron!" Boss growled. "Wait
'till midnight, take one of those modified silent jack hammers and pound the
hell outta that road. And when you're done, cruise the area and see if you
can find a few more places that need some holes."
"But, Boss," Monroe protested, "we've been makin' pot holes
all week. Can't this wait 'till Monday?"
Boss threw his half-smoked cigar at Monroe and almost hit the man with it.
"We're here to make money, you dumb sack of shit!" he shouted. "Decent
roads mean less work and less money! Now get outta my sight and go fuck up some
roads or, so help me God, I'll reassign you to do real work!"
Davis nodded and jabbed his elbow into his friend's ribs to shut Monroe up.
"You'll let the cops know to watch out for us and keep the area clear,
"Of course I will," Boss said indignantly. "Don't I always?
Now go home and get some rest. You got work to do tonight!"