Written by Alistair Clarke

Thursday, 9 September 2010

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Citing a lifelong concern with security as a possible explanation, local man Tom Gallant has explained that he is unable to prevent himself from judging the quality of nearby buildings and items even when social norms would preclude such behaviour. In an escalation of this tendency, he recently attracted attention by climbing onto the stage during an Aerosmith concert and distracting the band by taking various measurements of the plywood backdrop.

Mr Gallant, 33, a cab driver, has been doing it for as long as he can remember. "My very first memory is of playing with a toy car as a kid and thinking to myself, boy, this is poor workmanship. I guess since then it's become like a tic or something. I can't leave a shop until I've tapped every table and had my ear to every window. People think I'm stupid, but is it stupid to check the density of fibreglass? Don't come running to me when a sandstorm hits and the building falls down around you, that's all I'm saying."

Despite the negative aspects of his condition, Gallant is sanguine. "Things could be worse. Look, I'm not gonna stand here and tell you that it wasn't embarrassing when my fiancée walked out on me after I pulled out a tape measure during our wedding ceremony and started eyeing the marble floor, or when I missed the birth of my son because I was going over the hospital exterior with a spirit level, but I am who I am." He shrugged his shoulders. "Plus my apartment is pretty much earthquake proof, so there's that."

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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