Watching Cement Dry

Let’s take into account that there might be something we don’t know about this situation.  Perhaps there are mitigating factors.  Perhaps things are not as they seem.  Then again they might be exactly as they seem. 

A couple of slabs of sidewalk on Richmond Street needed to be replaced.  After many visits by city crews and the adjusting and readjusting of orange traffic cones, the new mixture was finally poured and shaped.  Today, the man and woman in this pickup pulled up to the new sidewalk piece, killed the engine and sat there for an hour.  She napped, he pecked away on his phone.

We watched her from our newsroom work stations across the street as she awoke suddenly and snapped upright, in the open window, a couple of times.  The guy got out and tapped on the cement with a finger, giving it a satisfied look.  Finally, they pulled away and the sidewalk was briefly alone before another identical truck pulled up with one man in it.  He stayed 15 or 20 minutes, chatting occasionally on his radio, then pulled away.  There was another period of sidewalk abandonment before the first truck returned!  They stayed another half hour or so. 

I cannot imagine that a six foot slab of sidewalk needs babysitters as it dries, even though my colleagues and I briefly, jokingly considered attempting to write something in it just to see if we could get away with it!  Lots of shoppers walked past without giving the slab a second look. The whole thing just seemed so wasteful – of time, effort and taxpayer money.