Eighty-five muggy New England degrees, at noon-thirty, and this man shows up on the job site, jacket buttoned to his neck, wearing gloves. Something like a sock bunches around his neck. Slightly more curious than nervous, I introduce myself.
He responds, “Tough and dry.” No name.
I look a question at him.
“Tough. And. Dry,” he says again, adding inexplicably, “You gotta clean the footings.”
I’m perplexed. I’m looking at a life-sized Master of Spinjitzu, with warm, but agitated eyes. I’m trying to ascertain his unique power, wondering what I’ll need for a counter charm. His eyes say he’s one of the good guys. I look at his truck for clues.
Okay, the fact of the truck is a clue, even though I see no writing on it. I ask for his name again. He responds, a bit annoyed with me now, “Tough-and-dry.”
Suddenly, I get it. He’s here to tar and feather our foundation. I need to clear the footings of gravel so he can spray goo all the way to the ground. He’s dressed to keep the fiberglass out of his skin.
I worry about his lungs, but I’m grateful he isn’t wearing a mask so I can see him smile when I confirm my conclusions.
“Yeeessss,” he drawls, a faint accent barely discernable.
Still, I look to the sky for signs of Flame the Fire Dragon.