History of Construction by S.S. Saucerman

November 12, 2009



geico-caveman2,400,000 B.C. (10:16 a.m.) Grog, a primitive man, stacks one rock on top of another, thereby performing the first act of construction archaeologists have discovered.

2,400,000 B.C. (10:23 a.m.) Unk, the B.A. from Cave Dwellers Local 369, shows up and claims the work was his.

2,400,000 B.C. (11:37 a.m.) Nok, Grog’s neighbor, trips over Grog’s rocks while going out for his morning newspaper.

2,400,000 B.C. (11:54 a.m.)  The law firm of Urk, Urk, Wonk and Frug is established, specializing in liability and workers comp claims.

1,616,230 B.C. Strange man wanders onto job site with a hyper sense of authority and begins handing out astronomical fines for safety violations.   This intruder is greeted by workers with (and subsequently became know as) “Oh SHIIIIIII….!”  Over the centuries, this label is shortened and becomes simply “OSHA.”

2650 B.C. In the first known example of “value engineering,” Egyptian architects leave nose off of Sphinx of Giza to save money.

2600 B.C. The great pyramids of Giza are constructed. Originally designed as large rectangular structures, Egyptian builders run into stone-supplier strike and run out of product shortly after project begins, thus forcing them to taper down the profile as structure grows, eventually leading to a point at the top.  The engineers are pretty sure nobody would notice.

190 B.C. Following the lead of the builders of the Sphinx in Egypt, Italian designers, in the quest of value-engineering, leave arms off Venus De Milo.

752 A.D. Taverns are invented.

752 A.D. to 1211 A.D. No recordable construction occurs. Experts stumped.

1212 A.D. 100 Years War between England and France is fought for only 87 years, thereby laying basis for determining architects’ billable hour.

1370 A.D. Great tower is erected in Pisa, Italy.

1370 A.D. First drug and alcohol program for construction workers is implemented in Pisa, Italy.

1668 A.D. Though budgeted for $500,000 Swiss francs, the Swiss Architectural firm of Yenney and Yenney messes up plans and specs and project comes in at $1,000,000 after bids.  Y & Y then makes the bold move of charging to revise its own screwed-up plans, giving it even greater additional fees for correcting its own mistakes.  Architects from all around the globe declare, “Wow, cool!”

1708 A.D. Plumb-bob is invented. Bob sues for copyright infringement. Urk, Urk, Wonk and Frug represent. Case still pending.

1752 A.D. Great fire destroys most of Moscow.  Engineer blames electrician.

1803 A.D. U. S. buys all land west of the Mississippi from France.  U. S. later declares it got screwed when it finds there are no sewer and water laterals. Suit is filed.  Urk, Urk, Wonk and Frug represent.  Case pending.

1810 A.D. Schubert tries in vain to finish symphony but architect won’t sign off on punchlist.  Work remains uncompleted.

1869 A.D. Transcontinental railroad is completed with the driving of the Golden Spike at Provotory, Utah.  Spike later removed by landscaper while mowing and whole thing has to be laid out again.

1906 A.D. Massive earthquake topples nearly four square miles of San Francisco.  Building engineers blame design software manufacturer.

1912 A.D. “Unsinkable” British luxury ocean liner is lost in Northeast Atlantic and 1,513 lives are lost.  Engineer blames painters.

1929 A.D. Low-rise jeans invented for plumbers, leading to the siting of many really, really great depressions.

1959 A.D. In historic Kitchen Debate, VP Richard Nixon confers with USSR leader Khrushchev at a U. S. trade show in Moscow.  Pat Nixon ignores the two blockheads and goes with hickory raised panel doors and gold fleck countertop.

1964 A.D. Civil Rights movement leads to ADA. ADA, of course, stands for “Another Dumb Addition” to the cost of construction by politically-correct plebians.

1989 A.D. After an exhaustive third-party review of AIA (American Institute of Architects) contracts and documents–most often used by contractors entering into commercial building projects–it’s officially determined that through the wording of the indemnity clauses included in virtually every paragraph, the architectural community has achieved its long-sought-after goal of having no responsibility for its actions.

1999 A.D. The latest BOCA Uniform Dwelling Code is completed. Six copies are printed and distributed in Cameroon.

2003 A.D. While lounging in his hot tub on an August night, cynical and snotty construction-industry writer S. S. Saucerman is attacked by a pack of lawyers and architects armed with rolled-up blueprints and briefcases.  Officials can only comment, “And the screwy thing was, he was just wearing flippers and a cape.”  After subsequent review, it’s determined that Saucerman deserved it.

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