Meet Cute #5: The Building and the High-Reach Demolition Excavator

I was excited when I heard the state was taking down the old Central Cold Storage building downtown. I can see the building from my office, so I thought: Hey, free show.

One day, the demolition guys drove a wrecking ball truck to the site. The truck sidled up to the building and the ball hung from its crane, getting ready for a smack-down.

Up next to that gargantuan steel ball, that old gray-brown building trembled.

I settled into a seat in the lunch room, where there’s the best view. I got out my sandwich and my soda, looking forward to the concrete fireworks.

“Looks like you’re working hard,” said Doris the receptionist. I told her not to break my chops.

But then nothing happened. I sat there eating my lunch and there was just silence. They never even turned on the fire hose!

Come to find out old Mrs. Zelig, who lives in the last occupied house in the neighborhood, called the cops to complain a wrecking ball would stir up too much noise and dust, that she was going to sue, on and on.

So that was how the city decided to use a high-reach demolition excavator on the building instead.

Boy, the next day that thing pulled up to the site. If you’ve never seen one, it looks like a tank with a long skinny dinosaur neck coming out the top. At the top of the neck is a head with metal jaws and steel bolts for eyes.

They lifted the neck up to the roof of the building. This time, the building didn’t tremble. In fact, I’ll be damned if it didn’t look like the dinosaur head nuzzled the roof a little, the way they had to turn it side to side to get the right position.

Then the construction guys got the head where they wanted it. The jaws opened.

I was thinking: Chomp. Explosion. I was thinking wrecking ball.

Doris was there in the lunch room again. “Another busy day, huh?” she asked.

But when the jaws closed, there wasn’t a chomp or an explosion. There was just a small, elegant… bite. Then another and another.

From a distance, the bites almost looked gentle. Like enthusiastic kisses, the kind you don’t realize are leaving bruises until it’s too late.

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