Mobile housing units, tanks, trailers, and chunks of the rig litter location. It is unusual for a rig move, but the company in control of drilling operations moved some of its own material before hiring us to complete the job. We stroll around the pieces, investigating the tools. The Wildebeest points at things that could kill me.
“See that cable there?”
“Yeah,” I say.
“That snaps. It’ll swing back and whack you clean in half.”
“Fucking kill you.”
A few steps later, “See that bucket of grease there?”
“Better not get that on you. Hell, no. Breathe that shit for too long . . .”
“Fucking kill ya.”
He points at what looks like a winch. “That’s called ‘the dead man,’” he says. “They use it to lower a tool. It goes miles into the ground. To make sure the drill string is going straight down. I once saw a guy get pulled through there. When they carted him out, he was this big around.” He makes a circle with his hands the size of a football.
“Fucking killed him,”
I say. “Oooaahhhhyyyeeaaaahh.”
The Good Hand
Michael Patrick F. Smith