My Bulldozer

egore911-bulldozer-800pxWhenever strange things appear in my yard, I know my buddy Stan has stopped by.

It happens a lot. Stan’s suburb gets upset when he stores things in his backyard, so he drops them off in mine.

After returning from a trip, I found a bulldozer napping next to my pole shed.

So I got on the phone.

“Stan?”

“Yeah?”

“You know why I am calling…”

“Haven’t a clue.”

“I found a bulldozer in my yard.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Is it yours?”

“Well….. that’s complicated.”

You have to understand – Stan is a simple, straight-forward kind of guy who through no fault of his own, gets caught up in terribly complex situations, mostly because of his job.

Stan repairs industrial equipment, machines so enormous that by comparison a bulldozer is a mere toy.  Not a lot of people can do what he does – and because he does what he does, he attracts a great deal of regulatory interest.

OSHA has his phone number on speed-dial. The NHTSA follows his every move and the EPA tracks him with bloodhounds; whenever Stan gets a new contract, local regulatory agencies get the vapors.

To do his job, Stan has to cut through a thicket of regulatory thorns – but he takes it all in stride and over the years, he has developed a sensible, down to earth method of dealing with his blizzard of paperwork – one that is very Stan-like.

He ignores it.

And because he doesn’t give a rip about regulation, he is cited, tried, convicted, fined and occasionally jailed on a regular basis.  It is a cost of doing business that he simply shrugs off.

He gets away with it because his business agent keeps a platoon of lawyers on staff – and when things really get dicey, they move him to Africa, Asia or South America until the powers that be make the machinery of government spin in reverse.

To understand why this is so, you have to appreciate the nature of his work.

The things he repairs are so big and so vital that when they go down, they take regional economies with them. So in a very real sense, Stan is more or less immune to rules. In short, he can do anything he wants with his email server.

I had to ask. “Did you steal the bulldozer?”

“Technically speaking perhaps… but the guy owes me money.”

“How long is it going stay in my yard?”

“I dunno, I thought maybe you could keep it.”

“What would I do with a bulldozer?”

“You could clear that bug-infested swamp next door.”

“Are you kidding?” I said, “that’s the Minnesota State Mosquito Preserve.  The Department of Natural Resources owns that land and they are fanatics about protecting their turf.”

“I guess you’re right,” he said, “they would come down on you pretty hard.”

“You bet they would.”

“You want me to do it?”

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

27 thoughts on “My Bulldozer”

    1. One of these days, I plan to write a comic novel along the line of what my hero, Christopher Moore, writes. My Stan, Darcy and Almost Iowa stories provide moments for these characters to peek out from behind the safe curtain of fiction and gaze into the irrational world that we live in.

      1. Even better. Why don’t you send Stan to the Middle East? See if he can clean up the mess. November is National Novel Writing Month. On November 1, you begin a novel. By November 30, you have 50,000 words. There’s no better time than this November to write that Stan novel.

  1. My Stan was named Gene. He’s gone now, but whenever I needed dozer work done in the hill country (twice, actually) he was right there. I once gave someone two truckloads of caliche as a birthday present, and Gene, his frontloader, and his bulldozer helped turn it into a road.

    1. Stan is a satirical character, a composite of all the crazy people I knew from the old neighborhood and thirty years of working in law enforcement. He exists… but never in one person. In that… he is very Stan-like.

      He first appeared in my imagination when I ran into an old friend, who just gotten out of jail. At the time, I was walking with my lieutenant, the Minneapolis police chief and several deputy chiefs who were all dressed in civilian clothes. The unsuspecting”Stan” then unloaded on us about how much he thought the police were a bunch of “&%%$#^”

      We had a great laugh over that and my currency with the brass went sharply upward. They were impressed that I had an intimate knowledge of our customer base.

    1. “Things like bulldozers can come in handy”

      It is startling to realize how many farmers around here have bulldozers. They use them to shape the contours of fields to enhance drainage and smooth out the slopes.

  2. Almost Iowa, I’m envisioning a version of “Where’s Waldo?” called “Where’s Bulldozer?” 🙂 Thanks for another very engaging piece about the quirky happenings of daily life.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s