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Saturday, 5 May 2012

misplaced enthusiasm


Work Experience, they called it.
Boys in their final year of school,
giving them the taste and touch of adult work.
Dredging the canal. That's what
the boys and the boys' leaders called it,
but really that was not the word at all.
Just clearing out the muck: the weeds,
the broken bicycles and wheels
was all that was required. But still,
the status that real work conferred, excited them.
The status of a word was overlooked.
Dredge became a part of their vocabulary -
so in the end, it happened to be what they did.

The bed had silted up with thick, brown clay.
They set-to with a will and scraped it all away -
the lining that was meant to keep the water in.

Some houses in the neighbourhood developed cracks,
as did a factory, a church hall and a pub.
Did someone then put two and two together?
Well yes, they did, eventually, but the town
was plagued with water in the ground long after that.

13 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

And it no doubt took hard work, expertise and money (lots of money) to find anything approaching a solution to the problem.

Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
Undoubtedly. Even more seriously, it put me off buying a house there!

Claudia said...

yeah..wouldn't risk neither buying a house there... we have a town close by where the houses develop cracks as well...but they're still not quite sure how to solve the problem..

Brian Miller said...

i would not buy a house right now, if i hadnt already regardless of where it was, but....experience carries a high value....and an experience like this def gives you some experience that may or may not be good...

Jenny Woolf said...

Sounds like the supervisor also needed some supervising experience!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Oh dear – blind enthusiasm for the task in hand! An excellent tale told – a worry that it’s true.

Anna :o]

Helen said...

A not so funny topic ~ a delightful read!!

Ygraine said...

Oops!
Think they would have been better off gaining experience in the local factory.
Less challenging, but non-corrosive:D

zongrik said...

i like the ending...did someone put two and two together...a nice way to say they were a bunch of dummies who couldn't think their way through a paper bag.

Windsmoke. said...

No work experience in my time you left school and fended for yourself the best way you could. I wouldn't have bought a house there either the house could have ended up in the canal :-).

Mary said...

"The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee...." said Robert Burns. Another example here!

haricot said...

Someone said that if it's perspective or not defines the matter would be virture or evil.
I remember this reading your lines.

Dave King said...

Claudia
Surprising how many people did, though. Whether perhaps they hadn't heard about the problem, I don't know.

Brian
The Estate Agents still seemed to be doing goood business!

Jenny
Could well be. Yes, I think I would go along with that!

hyperCRYPTICal
Well yes, I nearly got caught.

Helen
Not funny, no! Thanks.

Ygraine
Not so much fun, maybe...

zongrik
Yup, that about sums it, I guess.

Windsmoke
NMone in my time either!
I don't think anything quite that drastic occurred, but I take your point.

Mary
Now that does put another interesting take on it.

haricot
Wow, like it! Thanks.