This is by Liquor [Liquor@Sympatico.Ca] on alt.callahans.

“I am sure that none of you have ever heard of the thirty year old giant shopping and industrial mall in a small country on the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula (Oman, if you need to know). A certain very strong-armed friend of mine worked on it as a foreman on the glazing and finishing crew. This mall was to be a showplace, but it did have a major design flaw. Just a few days before it was supposed to open, they realized that the glass over and around the steps leading into the mall acted like a huge concentrating reflector. At this time of year, it would fry anyone attempting to go up the steps. In fact, when my friend realized what was happening, he literally strong-armed one of the Sultan’s all-drain inspectors (not surprisingly, he was the Sultan’s nephew) away from the danger area.

“Now this would have been terrific if they had just been building a temple to Apollo (Wasn’t he a sun god?) – but not so good for a mall in a thoroughly Islamic country. Apart from that, the sun comes close enough to frying you in those parts without any assistance.

“Since the local ruling Sultan was supposed to go up those steps as part of the opening, something needed to be done, and fast, or heads would LITERALLY roll. (Nobody would even _think_ about trying to moon someone back there and then.) Eventually, a small Installation Team (or IT) was put together. My friend, along with some others, delayed a planned trip, and worked as the foreman of this emergency IT for several days without break, as they relocated, painted, or tinted every panel of glass on the steps. They managed to get all of this done in time for the Sultan’s opening.

The Sultan was so pleased with my friend’s work, and with the return of the busy all-drain inspector that he presented him with an award, stating “Kneel, Arm-Strong!”

“The work crew, including Arm-Strong, was totally exhausted when they finished, and the grateful Sultan put the crew up in a local luxury hotel for a few days to catch up on their sleep. This was soon referred to as the tranquil IT base.

“When he finally took his trip, he explained what had occurred: “That sun’s mall step foreman, one giant sleep, Oman kind.”

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