Brian is a commercial saturation diver for Global Divers out of Louisiana and performs underwater repairs on offshore drilling rigs. Below is an e-mail sent to his sister.
Anytime you think you have had a bad day at the office, remember this guy.

April 1998

Hi Sue,

Just another note from your bottom dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you've been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it's not so bad after all. Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job.

This time of year the water is quite cool, even with a wetsuit. So what we do to keep warm is this: We have a diesel powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of crap sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temperature. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose which is taped to the air hose. Now this sounds like a damn 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 suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi.

Everything was going well until all of a sudden, my butt started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse. Within a few seconds my butt started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done. In agony I realized 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. Now 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 over the communicator. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he, along with 5 other divers, were laughing hysterically. Needless to say, I aborted the dive. It totaled 35 minutes before I could come to the surface for my chamber dry decompression.

I got to the surface wearing nothing but my brass 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 tube of cream and told me to shove it "up my butt" when I get in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't poop for two days because my butt was swollen shut.

Anyway, the 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 will make it more tolerable.

Brian


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