I overheard the roadmender mutter something about "mis-directed development", and I wanted to know what he meant by that, so turned around and asked for clarification.
"a long firing process, an even longer cooling process, then the hammers and chisels and all of that labor-intensive stuff people are always complaining about."
I had a distinctive feeling that he was talking about people like me, so I simply nodded, which I intended for him to take as a cue to continue. he did so.
"everything we put in the blueprint we put there for a reason. the folks in this neighborhood can't seem to get their heads around that."
he lifted his gasoline milkshake and took several deep gulps.
"the concrete, the duct work, the plastic- it's real! it's the genuine article! it ain't fake or second hand stuff, simple fellow."
"what? you wanna see the actual invoices?"
"I believe you, roadmender."
"a well is nothing but water that somehow bubbled its way up out of oblivion. at first our rope wasn't long enough so we sat down again with the financiers and developers and pretty soon trucks were pouring in from every distribution center around here."
"simple house twine, you were saying?"
"that's right, son. but we needed a lot of it. the pulley system was intricate. enough to wrap around the earth 25 thousand times."
"that's a lot of twine, sir."
"no, not really- we've undertaken much bigger projects."
"hey- would it be possible to have a quick peek at the blueprints?"
"sorry, lad- they're all over at company headquarters."
"well then what are you working from?"
"no, that's just natural, son. like when the well is finally dry."
"what does that have to do with it?"
"well, there's usually a crude map or diagram to be discerned amid the mud and rocks at the bottom."
"yeah, this map points the way, at least in a general sense. so we proceed to tear down, pack up, shove off, and keep traveling."
"that must be an arduous lifestyle."
"not a bit."
"roadmender, would you like to come give a talk to my daughter's second grade class?"
"wow! that's super! so I'll see you tomorrow?"
"bright and early."
"but wait- I thought your team worked thru the night."
"we do. we drink energy shakes."
"oh- I've heard about those-"
"well, son- you're probably going to be hearing quite a bit more."
"the market is booming, then?"
"in every sense of the word."
"wow! that's super!"
"well, we're a super-power, young fella."
"I guess so."
"no, there's no guess-work about it."
"you think the kids will be able to grasp that?"
"ok then...well, look, roadmender... I've gotta be going..."
"no problem- just remember to notice this patch of road on your way back."
"I will, sir."
"have a good one."