You must be familiar with the old adage: "Well, it sure beats digging ditches." It's the thing we say when we want to diminish the relative pain and suffering of whatever occupation we find ourselves in at the time. It was only recently that it occurred to me to wonder what ditch diggers say when they're trying to make themselves feel better about their line of work.
This happened while I was standing at the bottom of a hole with a shovel. I was out in my back yard working on the project that my son started a few weeks ago. He wants to have an underground bunker for his Nerf gun battles. In his initial plan, there was going to be room enough for he and a couple of friends to stand up inside, peering through carefully concealed ports, waiting for the inevitable storming of the fortress. He has plans all drawn up for how the frame for the roof will be constructed with pvc pipe and plywood. The floor is going to be flat and smooth, probably plywood but maybe paving stones. That is if he ever gets the hole dug. He and three friends hacked away for a couple of hours on that initial weekend, and since then there have been another couple of half-hearted attempts at getting back to it, but digging a hole is hard work, hence the aforementioned ditch digging sentiment.
That's where I come in. I had just returned from taking a leisurely stroll around the block that didn't quite scratch my exercise itch, so I grabbed a shovel and headed out back. As I pushed and lifted and strained and dug I started t sweat. And I started to notice the pile of dirt next to me start to grow. I thought of Cool Hand Luke, with his dirt in Boss Keane's ditch. I figured that, at some point, all that dirt would have to get out of my yard and back into the hole. But not now. This was far too satisfying. It was hard work. I was sore afterward, but I could see what I had accomplished. And it's still not deep enough. There's always next weekend.