Nathan's (Friday) Laserium: One More Mining Mishap

I’ve been busy working on something for something, and also working for because if I don’t I will get fired. So I will give you one more mining mishap and hopefully by next week some more Octobery lasers be shooting your way. Because October is my favorite.

Oh! Also! Check out the 40 Below Project website today as the cover and book trailer will be unveiled. Little secret- I am writing this in advance of heading to work for the week and when this post goes live I will be at work, far from the internet. So you will get to see the cover before I do! So act now! And order ten copies! Between that and the Zodiac Calendar we here at have all your xmas shopping needs covered. Or you can give copies of 40 Below away for Halloween! Good idea. Alright see you next week.


This story would be so much better with pictures. Then I could just say, "So, this happened:" and show you a photo and leave it at that. But I was unable to get photos of the incident in question because my camera was in my backpack, which was in a pickup truck, which was in a sump. Also in the backpack:

-Cellphone. Normally I don't carry my phone with me at work since there's no coverage out there anyways. Not sure why I had it that night.

-iPhone. This is my Mom's old iPhone which she gave me to replace the iPod which died on me a few months ago. I just use it as an iPod, for music and podcasts, though only in my Kress truck, and the night in question I was fuelling pumps in a pickup truck and had no need for it.

-National Geographic, June issue. Fun fact, I've read every page of every issue of National Geographic since at least 2006, when my mother-in-law started buying me a membership each year for xmas. Streak ended!

-The Mastermind of Mars, half-read. Apparently it's still floating away down there.

-A Fighting Man of Mars, unread. In case I finished Mastermind.

-aforementioned Olympus digital camera. Waterproof and unharmed!

-foodstuffs of varying composition but uniform deliciousness, ruined. Though I ate the $3 protein bar after it was recovered, dagnabbit, them things are expensive!

-sundry other items of lesser value

Anyways, the iPhone may not come back to life, though it was previously thought killed when Pallas dunked it a mug of coffee, so you never know. My cellphone is probably ruined, but good news- the SIM card was alright so I transferred it to Michelle's old phone of the same model which she no longer needs ever since I got her an iPhone 4S.

All that happened is I backed the truck down parallel to a pump to throw some fuel in it, and I stepped out to open the fuelcap on the pump when it kind of went thunk and slipped from park into reverse, whereupon it accelerated surprisingly quickly into the sump. There was no berm around the sump so it flew right in. Earlier I had noticed the transmission not going into park so I took it down to the washbay to wash out the linkage, after which it was working fine. Or seemed to be, anyways.

So now I'm looking at my pickup truck which is sort of propped up on an angle, lights shining, over half-submerged and not accessible at all. My first thought was for my backpack. Then I realized the radio was in there and no one else knew I was down there, in the bottom of this very deep pit, with walls that are so bad they actually brought in a radar dish to monitor it, and so I would have to walk out. At midnight with no light because, though I had just asked for batteries for my headlamp not a half hour previous, I was told there are no batteries for peons such as myself. Did I mention all the grizzly bears that have been hanging around? Not that I was too worried about them, grizzlies are waaay too smart to be down in that pit by themselves at night.

What really pissed me off about the whole thing is they piss-tested me for that! On my incident report I'd written a fairly straightforward narrative of the events, highlighting facts I felt were relevant, such as that fuelling pumps is not my job. Then when I found out they wanted to drug test me, I wrote an addendum as follows, word for word inasmuch as my memory serves:

On the advice of my shop steward I am assenting to a drug test but I would like to register my extreme displeasure at the unjustness of this decision. NOT my job. NOT my fault. NOT my problem.

I wish I'd thought to write, "Furthermore, you owe me a new iPhone!" Anyways, I didn't get to be there for the funnest part, which is recovering the truck, since I was busy peeing into a cup. But I was told it was a lot of fun, and as an interesting aside, apparently my backpack floats.

There are some photos so it's possible someone will smuggle me a file or two, it's kind of funny.

(Originally Posted 27th June 2012)

- Nathan Waddell