If ever you think you’ve had a bad day, spare a thought for Brian. Brian was a commercial diver in the United States and performed underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. After a particularly bad day, he sent the following email to his sister.
This is just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day ‘at the office’. Before I can tell you what happened to me, I must first bore you with a few technicalities of my job. You know my office lies at the bottom of the sea. You know I wear a suit to the office. It’s a wetsuit.
At this time of the year, the water is quite cool. To keep warm, we have a diesel-powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of rubbish sucks water out of the sea. It heats the water to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose, which is taped to the air hose.
This might sound like a mighty good plan, and I’ve used it several times with no complaints. What I do, when I get to the bottom and start working, is I take the hose and stuff it down the back of my neck. This floods my whole wetsuit with warm water. It’s like working in a jacuzzi.
Everything was going well until all of a sudden my butt started to itch. Of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse. Within a few minutes my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was already done. In agony I realised what had happened. The hot water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit. This is even worse than the poison ivy you once had under a cast.
I had that hose down my back. I don’t have any hair on my back, so the jellyfish couldn’t get stuck to my back. My butt crack was not as fortunate. When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into my butt.
I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma. His instructions were unclear due to the fact he, along with the other divers, were laughing hysterically. Needless to say, I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make three agonising in-water decompression stops totalling 35 minutes before I could come to the surface for my chamber dry decompression.
I got to the surface wearing nothing but my helmet. My suit and gear were tied to the bell. When I got on board the medic, with tears of laughter running down his face, handed me a tub of cream and told me to shove it up my bottom when I get in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn’t pass a bowel movement for two days because my bottom was swollen shut. I later found out this could have easily been prevented if the suction hose was placed on the leeward side of the ship.
Anyway, next time you have a bad day at the office, think of me. Think about how much worse your day would be if you were to shove a jellyfish up your butt. I hope you have no bad days at the office but, if you do, I hope this story makes them more tolerable.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.