© 1998 Jamie Zawinski <email@example.com>
They had been digging up my street for a while, carving thin canals and moving pipes and cables around under the asphalt, blocking off one lane, then the other, and generally making loud noises at ungodly hours of the morning.
Then they began digging up the sidewalk across the street, in front of the bank. They dug a hole about six feet long and four feet wide. Out of this hole, they pulled a large corroded metal tank of some kind. They strapped the tank to a flatbed truck and it drove away to points unknown.
Then someone got down into the hole, which was about six feet deep.
He reached down.
He pulled up a handful of dirt.
He smelled it.
He held it up to the crowd of workmen standing around the edge of the hole. They sniffed at his hand.
He got out of the hole. They talked.
Then they rolled the backhoe in, and dug more dirt out of the hole. (At this point, I noted that they had been careful to stack the piles of dirt on large sheets of plastic, rather than directly on the sidewalk!)
The above ritual was repeated several more times.
This really filled me with a warm fuzzy feeling.