CHAPTER EIGHT: A Cat Convention

Ram crested a hill, and saw ths Cats all gathered around in a group. He drove over to talk to DeNine, their leader.

"Ram! You're onsite late! What's up?" DeNine said.

"I thought I'd spend a little time getting to know the crew. I've gotten some flak: They say the only time I talk to them is when there's something wrong!" Ram said.

"WOW! Who said that?" DeNine said. "You're one of the best job foremen in the company! Everybody I know thinks you do a great job and really care about their condition!"

"Well, that's good!" Ram said. "I TRY to be accessible to everyone: solve any problems, and make sure they're happy and running well. I just got a little criticism recently, and I take complaints seriously."

"Well who's giving you flak?" DeNine asked. "I hope it wasn't a CAT!"

"Oh, no one in particular. Just some fumes floating around in the air." Ram said.

"Wasn't Bull Dozer, was it?" DeNine asked.

"Well..." Ram hesitated.

"I knew it!" DeNine exclaimed! "He's one of the old design Dozers: a lot of them are really bad bigots and bullies. The new model dozers are still proud to be Cats! But they know there are some parts of a road that have to be done by other clans, like the Macks. We even try to tolerate other clans, which in the past we've been hostile to. We all work for the Company, and we all build quality roads."

"Bull can be a problem. He works hard, but he sure can be obnoxious sometimes!" DeNine added.

"Yeah, I know!" Ram replied. "He's one of our hardest workers! But he's purging off a lot of folks! He had Polly crying the other morning!"

"He made Polly cry?" DeNine exclaimed! "If she gets upset, the pavement won't be right, and all our work will be for nothing!"

"Yes, and she's not the only one. Ms. Silverado has even overheard some complaints" Ram said.

"Well, we're having a pep rally tonight: Maybe I'll say something. Bad attitudes just aren't constructive." DeNine relpied.

As Ram drove off, he could hear DeNine roaring with his powerful voice: "Hey, Cats! Who's the best?"

"We are!" The Cats screamed in unison. "RRRing! Ring Power!"

Ram has a thought

"I wish everybody had an attitude like DeNine" Ram thought as he left the Cat's parking area. "It would be nice if everyone who worked for the company were more united and supported each other like the Cats."

Of course the Cats DID spend most every night camped out together, and they had a pep rally or big party almost every night.

"Maybe we could organize a big party and pep rally for everyone some weekend! That might just help things!" Ram thought.

Ram, Sammy, Greta, and Polly

Ram pulled up to where Sammy, Greta, and Polly were parked. Sammy had his radio on, and they were listening to the classic rock station.

"Evening!" Ram said.

"Hello, Mr. Ram!" Sammy said.

"We're just chillin' to some good tunes! Come join us!" Greta said.

"Yes, Sammy does have a good radio!" Ram said.

Sammy said, "Yeah, but it's sad how I got it! Sweepers don't usually have radios, you know!"

"How DID you get yours?" Ram asked. Sammy replied, "One of my regular Workers was involved in a horrible wreck! A drunk driver hit him almost head on while they were crossing a bridge! My Worker was OK: walked away without a scratch! But his poor friend was totalled and had to go to the junkyard. The paramedics told Worker that his friend had for sure saved his life! My worker had just bought a really nice stereo for his friend, and he removed it before his friend got scrapped. When my Worker found someone else, they already had a great stereo. So the Worker gave me his friend's old stereo!

"Well, We're sure grateful for you and your music, Sammy!" Greta said.

"Yeah, everybody relies on us, but Sammy's the only one who comes by and says "Hi" sometimes. He's a good shoulder to cry on too!" Polly said.

"Yes, Sammy's a good guy!" Ram said. "But Polly: who's been making you cry?"

"Oh, somebody said some mean things to me yesterday. But Sammy cheered me right up!" Polly replied.

"It wasn't Bull Dozer, was it?" Ram asked.

"Yes! How did you know?" Polly asked.

"Oh, I hear things" Ram said.

"But don't worry: I've been talking to Ms. Silverado about it. Bull might not be with us much longer."

"They're not going to scrap him, are they?" Sammy exclaimed! "That would be horrible! He's mean, but he works really hard. Plus he's been with the company forever!"

"Scrapping him is fine by me!" Greta said.

Ram laughed and said, "Well, we're not going to scrap him. Remember Lonnie?"

"Of course!" Greta said. "Didn't he open up his own company?"

"Yes he did! Ms. Siverado and I ran into him at the truck stop, and he said he was looking to hire a dozer. We talked about him hiring Bull.

"Well, I don't think many will miss him!" Polly said.

"Could I ask you for a favor?" Sammy asked.

"Sure!" Ram replied.

Sammy asked, "Can we use the big parking lot for a party? Classic Rock 99.4 is having a Block Party Weekend of Buffalo Springfield music, and I had the idea of throwing a big listen party. Buffalo Springfield was named for my friend Bo's grandfather, and Bo LOVES his music, but he doesn't have a radio! So the other day I had the idea to throw a small party, and listen to some great music!"

"Of course you can!" Ram said. "In fact, I've beeen thinking the company hasn't had a social event in along time: I'll check with Ms. Silverado: maybe we can make this a big event! Even get some company funding for refreshments!"

"Wow! That would be awesome!" Sammy said.

"Well, y'all have a good evening! Pave well!" Ram said.

"Thanks, Mr. Ram!" Sammy said. As Ram drove home he felt pretty good about things. Maybe it would be a smooth road ahead.



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Obviously this is a work in progress. More chapters to come. Story ideas, suggestions: Tell me!