I had to take a little trip to the 1999 Building this afternoon.† While I was there, I went to the information desk and asked about the arms.‡
First, let me take a moment to mention that the brain trust that runs the information desk was none too geeked about my asking. Not reluctant, not angry, but not particularly inquisitive or bright.^
He did, however, have an answer: it's a permanent mobile scaffolding§ for window washing.
Crack investigative reporter that I am, I was prepared to ask him probing questions - did they find it more economical to hire window washers who didn't bring their own scaffolding? did window washers stop bringing their own scaffolding? did they ever decorate the arms with Christmas lights in a festive nod to the holiday season? could I do that for them?
Alas, I sensed he was in no mood to get all Vanity Fair about it, so you get the Dear Abby version¶ instead.
Still, you had a right to know.
†FOOTNOTE (crossed): Screw it. I'm doing footnotes.
‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Because that's the kind of information service I provide to you, the Rickety consumer.
^FOOTNOTE (careted): C'mon... if you were in his shoes and someone asked you something other than "do you know when the next train comes?" or "which floor for Time Out Temps?" wouldn't you be jazzed?
§FOOTNOTE (swerved): My words, not his. He may or may not be familiar with "scaffolding."
¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): 1.5 column inches. But Abby never did footnotes.