Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Laticrete and Dessert Compared - A Short Vignette

Message from a friend:

In the outdoor atrium at the street level of the building housing my office, some large granite tiles (about 3' x 3') were being replaced today.  A bag of Laticrete Gold was standing there among industrial-sized buckets, a grinding wheel, and other tools, objects, and materials to be used for the job at hand.  These are all observable in the attached photograph.  I have set forth below the dialog in which I asked for permission to take this photograph.  

“Excuse me, sir,” I said to one of the two workmen on the job site.  He was standing behind his colleague, the latter of whom was kneeling at the side of the square depression into which a new tile was to be placed and placing dabs of a white paste on top of a neatly spread, dark brownish grey, thin layer of mortar.  The new tile is visible in the upper right hand corner of the attached photograph, and the depression being prepared for that new tile is in the upper left hand corner. 

"Sorry to bother you,” I apologized once I had the attention of both workmen.  

The white bag among the various objects on the job site observable in the foreground of the attached photograph was covered with neat blue lettering and the rectilinear logo I have learned to look for at any tile job I pass here in Manhattan or any other place in the world.  “Ahh!” I happily exclaimed to myself.  Pointing to it,  and making eye contact with the man standing, I asked “Is that Laticrete?"

“Yes,” the man standing replied.

“Is that stuff any good?” I went on to further ask.

“Yes,” he immediately responded.  “The best!”  

He was about to say something else, but then paused, seeming troubled by his very quick reply.  Another second or two passed by before he recanted.  "There’s only one better than it.”

“Really?” I said with an inquisitive tone. “What product is that?”

“It’s called ‘Platinum’.”  

Hearing that, the workman who was preparing the depression for the new tile, like a baker dabbing tufts of whipped cream on top of a chocolate cake, looked up to nod his agreement with his colleague’s comment about the Platinum product.  The kneeling man's quiet affirmation reminded me of how the always muted, 5’9” Teller silently indicates his agreement with his 6’6” partner Penn on a Las Vegas nightclub stage.

Looking at the bag and processing the fact that its label said “Gold”,  I said “Oh!  Platinum.  I get it!  I guess that is also from Laticrete.”

“Yes,” came the standing workman's ever quick reply.

“Do you mind if I take a photograph of it?”

“No. Go right ahead,” he said invitingly, while snatching the bag from the objects in which it was nondescriptly standing and moving it to a more prominent position by itself on the flat, ground-hugging cart that he and his partner were using for moving to and fro’ their building materials and tools.  “You can buy it at a place uptown,” and he continued to tell me the name of that place and its address.

But looking at the time on my smartphone – which popped onto its screen after I popped the attached photograph – I realized I was running late to my luncheon appointment, and the name and address of the tile place uptown bounced off my ears like a poorly shot basketball bouncing off the rim of a basket.

“Great!” I exclaimed.  “Thank you!”

I turned to continue on to my luncheon appointment, with the newly planted taste on my mind’s palate of a dessert of rich chocolate cake adorned with dabs of freshly whipped cream.

Click on photo to enlarge

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