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The Scrivener: Tower Cranes And Mini Pinschers

Brian Barratt encounters traffic jams at the shopping centre - and creates handy new verb.

Over the last few months, an ugly new block of flats has been rising next to Glen Waverley railway station. I sometimes drive past it on the way to The Glen shopping centre which is, as you have guessed, at Glen Waverley. With over 200 stores and 2,500 parking spaces, it can be a useful place to visit.

The most intriguing sight on this little trip has been the tower crane attached to the side of the new building. It went up 10 or a dozen storeys, I haven't counted them. It has always been a mystery to me how these things are erected; how they cope with the huge weights they lift; why they do not bend or keel over; and how they are dismantled. I've been hoping that I might see the dismantling procedure one day as I drove past.

No such luck. Today, the road was blocked to traffic, a huge truck was in place, and various sections of the crane were being loaded. That's that. It had been dismantled. I did, however, solve the mystery later.

To reach The Glen, I had to drive through the car park on the other side of the road. The first effort took me to a dead-end with a little traffic roundabout. So I silently spoke a few rude words, roundabouted, and went into the main area of the car park which has an exit or two on the far side... along with dozens or maybe hundreds of other drivers trying to find their way in or out. The exit I had planned to use turned out to be an entrance, not an exit. Ho hum.

Cars were coming from three directions, at less than a proverbial snail's pace, to the only exit. At the same time, people were trying to get their cars into spaces that became vacant. Why on Earth people choose to reverse their vehicles into parking places in confined quarters I just can't understand. You just have to sit there watching their indicators and steering wheels going from right to left to right as they struggle to manoeuvre vehicles like those silly look-at-me fuel-guzzling SUV things.

No point in using rude words. I just hummed a happy song. And it was worth noting that there was no indication of anyone getting annoyed or shouting or threatening road rage. Not that I saw, anyway.

Out of the jam, I had to take a route different from my usual way of access to the undercover parking levels at The Glen, and finished up on Blue level instead of Green. I understand Green, and how it works, but I drove along several dead-end aisles while looking for a space in Blue. I stopped singing the happy song. My horoscope said that today would be creative and rewarding and all this was neither creative nor rewarding.

At the large department store where I bought replacements for a 40-year-old bread knife and utility knife, I got chatting to the young woman at the check-out. She was amicable and talkative in spite of a lengthening queue behind me. In particular, she told me that she breeds Mini (Miniature) Pinschers. Lovely little dogs. And, as far as I know, the barbaric practice of cutting pieces off their ears and tails is banned in this country.

Come to think of it, though, perhaps today has been rewarding, having such a nice chat with a stranger, and creative, in that I came home and immediately started chattering about it on the keyboard and screen.
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All about tower cranes:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/engines-equipment/tower-crane.htm

Copyright Brian Barratt 2103

For many more reading treats dip in Brian's treasury archived columns.
http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_scrivener/

And do visit his Web site
www.alphalink.com.au/~umbidas/

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