At work, when we got around to knocking down the
back portch, each
grey-green pressure treated board was shot through with oily-looking
golden nails. Nailgunned nails hold tenaciously, because of the
activated glue which coats them. The friction generated by the
melts the glue for a fraction of a second, and then sets around the
nail. This makes demolition slow going.
The rainbow-gold sheen on the nails is cadmium, a
Objects are sometimes coated in cadmium to discourage welding to them,
like putting a bomb in the refridgerator to discourage snacking.
Pressure treated wood is poison, too. The old stuff has both
and toxic copper oxide, which is why all playground equiptment is made
The telltale sign of copper poisoning is a green
ring in the iris.
Victims suffer from severe mental disturbance, including suicidal
behavior. It's common knowlege that arsenic is lethal in large
and carcenogenic in small doses.
The first wood to go was the railings- we needed
room to huck the
rest of the structure down to the ground. These are fun- a few
with a sledge hammer and they break away from the posts, trailing
ballisters like a fishbone. After that, it was top to bottom- the
roof, hot and rotten shingles, tar and plywood. Then the meager
After that, the ledger board. These were the
wide 2x8's that were
actually hooked to the building, providing a solid shelf and
It was here that the alcoholic housepainter did an especially excessive
job with the nails, sensing that he was mostly nailing through to
Each plank of wood, some of them nine or ten feet long, bristled with
bent spikes. This was vampire refuse, as if we were demolishing
Elizabeth Bathory's gazebo.
We were working in the heat of the summer with
shorts and t-shirts,
throwing the stuff off the second story into the back yard. I
that this wood wanted to stick me, and I was careful, a wuss in a
non-wuss job. It was only later that week, when Mark 1
dropped off our new dumpster, that it finally caught up to me. I
loading the last stick in. It twisted in my hand, came down, and
slashed my calf, just like it wanted, leaving a long, deep cut.
"Someday," it said to me, "You too will be