Just got your very first jackhammer? Congratulations. Here’s how to avoid some of the most common jackhammer pitfalls.

1. Do not put the jackhammer in your ear unless you’re already deaf: The loud volume of the jackhammer can permanently damage your hearing, so don’t put it inside your ear canal, no matter how tempting it is. If you’re already deaf, though, there’s no reason not to indulge and stick that jackhammer right up in there.

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2. Do not dig down into the sewer without putting on sensible shoes: One of the perks of having a jackhammer is getting to visit the sewer whenever you want, but don’t go unprepared. Sneakers will get completely soaked and dirty. You’re going to want to wear waterproof galoshes or plastic flip-flops so you can wade around without ruining your footwear.

3. Don’t forget the quarry is the best place to get rocks: A lot of jackhammer owners don’t even learn about the quarry until years after they get a jackhammer, leading to hours of wasted time wandering in the forest looking for boulders to break apart. If you need rocks, there’s no better source than the quarry. The entire place is made of solid stone, and it’s just waiting to be smashed into pebbles.

4. When you get thirsty, don’t assume you can just jackhammer into a water main: You’ve got a parched throat and a jackhammer, so why not drill down until you breach a city pipe and flood an intersection, right? Wrong. When you rip up the street, you’ll create a crumbly pile of asphalt debris that floats in the lake you create. This will give the water a foul, oily taste. Even with a jackhammer, it’s better to keep getting drinking water from your sink.

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5. Don’t jackhammer statues in the museum unless there is a sign saying it’s okay: Depending on the institution, many museums prefer it when people don’t shatter their statues with a jackhammer. Before you tear through a statue, read the accompanying sign to see if it says anything about it being okay to jackhammer. If you aren’t sure, ask a museum employee which statues are open season for jackhammers.

6. If you tap someone on the shoulders with your jackhammer, they are anointed as a construction foreman; do not take this power lightly: The jackhammer owner’s greatest responsibility is getting to decide who is the foreman at construction sites. Although you can promote anyone to foreman, keep in mind that you should only select experienced construction workers that can follow the blueprints and erect a structurally safe building. The last thing you want is to appoint as foreman some random person who doesn’t even work in construction, someone who might view being a foreman as a curse and seek vengeance.

Keep these tips in mind and owning a jackhammer will be an error-free and delightful experience. Your life is about to change for the better!

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