Sometimes It’s Better To Hammer Out Your Own Solution | It Means Jack by Joey To

When the union’s got you backed into a corner, you might just need to drill down to find answers.

Sometimes It’s Better To Hammer Out Your Own Solution

It Means Jack

by Joey To

For the Animate Material Award


“…look after the interests of you workers in the construction industry. Without you…”

“Useless unions,” mumbled Ron as he shuffled towards his ute. He couldn’t be bothered listening to Engelson’s waffle. Might as well leave now and beat the traffic.

Engelson’s glossy black sedan caught his eye and he huffed, throwing this toolbox into the tray of his ute.


Ron squinted: it was his jackhammer. And it was talking to him.

“I could ask how but I doubt I’ll get a satisfying answer…” Ron muttered.

“Well yeah, it’s not like one wills himself into existence,” said the jackhammer. “Although it could be due to stupid energy.”

Ron knitted his brow.

“When there’s an intense convergence of malicious stupidity that something else manifests. Anyway, don’t tell me you’re gonna take this lying down. The union is screwing you.”

“No shit,” said Ron. “How do you know all this?”

The jackhammer shrugged, then hopped out of the tray, landing on its single leg before jumping into the passenger seat. “Let’s fix this, then grab us a beer. By the way, I’m Jack.”

Ron tapped the steering wheel and narrowed his gaze at the black sedan pulling up to a strip of shops. He parked some ten spots away and read the signs: Joe’s Burgers, Bulini Accountants, Daisy’s Dresses & Costumes…

Engelson got out of his car and into Daisy’s. Before Ron had even pulled the handbrake, Jack leapt out and bolted toward the shop. Then he went through the front door. Without opening it.

Ron gawked but got out and followed. When he entered the store, Jack was already stomping on Engelson.

“Get this thing off me!” screamed the union man.

Ron scanned the place: it was lined with racks of horrid dresses and weird costumes.

“You actually get business?” he mumbled.

“Bet you it’s a front for money laundering,” shouted Jack as he pummelled. “I mean, seriously, if the unions actually solved problems for good, they’ll be out of a job in like three months.”

“Hey,” Ron called out. “Stop for a second.”

Jack stopped for second.

Then he restarted.

Ron sighed. “Stop for a minute then.”

Jack jumped back, taking the guy’s phone and wallet and Ron jumped in, bringing his fists down. “Don’t pretend to be helping us when you’re not, you crossdressing bastard!”

Engelson merely grunted his denials.

Ron ceased when he noticed blood. Interestingly, Jack had in the meantime pulverized all surveillance equipment, not to mention having drilled another hole in the wall.

“What’re you doing?” asked Ron.

Jack shrugged. “Well, you know, I wanna be all I can be.”

Ron frowned. “What’re you, an existentialist?”

“Shut up, don’t confuse me with that Sartre tool,” said Jack as he pointed into the hole.

There was cash. Lots of it.

Ron and Jack exchanged glances, then hauled the entire load out to the ute.

“Where to next?” asked Ron.

Jack smirked, holding up Engelson’s phone. “Get us some burgers and beers, then onto his friends.”