Pet Peeves


Big Boomer

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz 

It was a bad day at the office. Well, his moving office to be exact. I read with interest the Indy article, “Crane Rescue Reveals Another Fissure.” My eyes aren’t so good and I thought I read, “Crantz Rescue Reveals Another Fissure.” Imagine my relief when my wife hit me upside the head, “Here’s a fissure for you. That reads Crane not Crantz.” I rely on my wife’s love taps. The ER says I’m all right. It was just a mild concussion.

The driver had just placed a 700-pound concrete wall fountain with his 48-ton crane’s 70- foot boom. It’s unclear why the resident wanted the Trevi Fountain in her backyard. The Italian government wonders why, too. At the advice of her attorney, the resident refuses to comment to governments, insurance adjusters, neighbors and her husband. The husband agreed to comment when I rented him a room to hide from the media. I said to him, “I assure you we have no fountains. Big pillows yes. No fountains.” The husband responded, “It’s all my fault. She wanted to go to Rome. I put her off. I’ve been busy at work.” I placated, “Listen, it could be worse. You could be the Italian ship captain, who sunk his cruise liner to cover up the stomach flu virus. You should talk to him. He’s in the second bedroom.”

The driver had just set the fountain and forgot to throw a penny in it to make a wish to return to the crane depot safely.

“I thought about it. But the owner won’t recognize wishes on the travel expense reports. I wish he did,” the trucker explained.

“Seems penny wise and 48-ton foolish,” I answered. “It’s not the owner’s fault. He did cover pennies once. But workers started to believe nickels, dimes, quarters and then silver dollars would protect them better and appease the Big Boomer,” sighed the driver.

“Who’s Big Boomer?” I asked.

“He’s the trucker god that defies physics and gets these gigantic rigs where no Mini Cooper would dare to go.”

“You know I could use the Big Boomer. I can’t park in Laguna’s tight parking spaces. I even have a back up screen, but it’s frozen. The grandkids hacked it with a picture of themselves under the heading ‘We’re behind you Pop-Pop.’ It’s unnerving. Here’s a silver dollar. See what the Big Boomer can do to unfreeze my screen.”

Accident recovery experts were called onto the scene. It took 10 hours and eight tow trucks to pull upright the four-axle crane lying on its left side.

Neighbors were divided on pulling it upright or placing it on its right side to create a rooftop deck to take advantage of the spectacular views.

The fire chief tried to settle the deadlock by explaining that the crane had to be moved due to inadequate sprinklers, view ordinance regulations, and the goats still trapped under the crane.

“We got to rescue those poor guys for our own green belt fire protection,” explained the fire chief. Neighbors didn’t agree with the fire chief’s reasons, but agreed to rescue the goats because of an insatiable love of goat cheese.

A neighbor, who requested to remain anonymous, said the debacle was a scene right out of a Transformer movie. “You didn’t hear it from me. But I swear when the crane was upright and left, and the neighbors went back inside their homes, those big tow trucks turned themselves into the Coastal Commission,” whispered the neighbor.

“Yikes. Here are four more silver dollars for the Big Boomer. Here are two for me for my parking problems. And two silver dollars to cover Mark Christy and the Ranch problems.”


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.


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