Constructive Criticism

Scott McBargainshopper

It’s on sale now for $8.96 from Walmart. If I order the hard hat and everything else that I need, I might be able to get free shipping; all I need to do is spend more than $35.00. Actually, I don’t need the free shipping, I’ll just pick it up later. I don’t have plans today or tomorrow.

yellow and green hard hat on rack
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A reflective stripe spiced zipper from traffic security vest jacket (wow, that’s a mouthful) is only $14.16. That brings the total to $23.12. Hopefully I’ll find one that fits. I have a hard enough time finding everyday clothes that fit my oddly-shaped body, so I doubt I’ll be so lucky.

I probably need 6 traffic cones to really make my point. Actually, I hate the number 6. It’s always stood out to me and I don’t know why. 8 is such a nice number, divisible by 2 and 4, while 4 is divisible or squared into 2’s. 6 is the unsexy combination of 2 and 3 and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll get 8 traffic cones. Cost doesn’t matter to me at this point. I mean, an 18” street cone is $15.99 apiece, which brings my total to well over the $35.00 I need for free shipping. I’m buying it in the store anyway, so I don’t know why I keep thinking about free shipping.

construction worker safety danger
Photo by Life Of Pix on Pexels.com

The last thing I need is a ladder. One that’s tall enough to reach the overhead traffic lights on the way to work. I drive passed them every day and wonder why they’re different. They are held by a thick steel bar that – no, it can’t be steel. Steel would be way too heavy. Maybe it’s fiberglass? But that seems like it wouldn’t be cost effective, but what do I know about fiberglass cost. It’s not a commodity like gold. Well fuck, I don’t know anything about gold prices either and I don’t care to look it up. What was I – oh right – the traffic lights. So, they’re held up by some steel-like metal that juts diagonally across the road and effortlessly dangles them below it. The way that it’s attached to the ground is through another, equally thick steel-like metal that juts out of the sidewalk. It basically makes a big L-shape. The ladder needs to be Dewalt. I almost bought a Werner, but John Oliver made fun of them on Last Week Tonight and that was enough to sway me. I don’t give a shit about ladders, but some writer somewhere does, and that was enough.

Shit, Walmart doesn’t even have Dewalt ladders. I’ll buy a Werner. I get free shipping if I get it from Walmart. Jesus, I don’t want to spend $59.99 on a ladder. I mean, I only need to buy it once, but I want to leave at least a little bit of money behind to help my parents pay off the college loans that I didn’t deserve. Fine, I’ll buy the ladder… at least I get free shipping.

ladder wood blackandwhite old
Photo by Khimish Sharma on Pexels.com

The drive to the intersection that I was talking about earlier is no more than 5 minutes from my apartment. I pulled my dark-blue Nissan over to the side of the road and turned the blinkers on. After the one car behind me drove around and flipped me off, I put the reflective jacket and hard hat on and set the cones out. 1 by 1, cars stopped behind the row of 8 cones and could do nothing but watch as I “made my repairs.” That had to be what they’re thinking, like, “why the hell is this guy doing work now? I’m just trying to get home.” That guy probably beats his wife when he gets home anyway. What difference does it make?

I set the ladder up in the middle of the intersection and stumbled to the top. It’s well lit for the first few steps, but it dims quickly. The street lights are aimed straight down and I’m not in their field of vision. That’s fine.

With the $6.42 rope that I bought, I wrap the untied end around the steel-like metal bar and tied it with a knot that I learned in Boy Scout’s in the fourth grade. I was in the Boy Scout’s until I quit because I hated tying knots. Then I put the other end around my neck and tipped off of the ladder.

Horns blared as the lights dimmed. People jumped out of their cars, but their hesitations from simply dressing in a reflective jacket and hard hat was enough to let me do what I had set out to do. The cones were a nice touch. I probably only needed 6.

I even got free shipping.

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