Monday, November 8, 2010

I Swear It Was An...

If for some reason it’s been important to you that the news and you remain total strangers for about a month, here’s a spoiler alert.

Don’t read further. You’re about to find out what I just learned.

Notes From Under Ground
Really, I was trying to be a good parent. Our son’s school sent us an electronic school newspaper. The email note to which the PDF version of the publication was attached said it was a pretty big deal for the kids because it had been some years since the school had a venue for students to practice journalistic skills.

So I thought okay and I finally got around to downloading the thing. I felt unconflicted as far as the Van Winkle Project went. From the beginning local news has been declared “legal” for me whenever it is delivered from first-hand witnesses. So I'm thinking there should be no problem in letting the students tell me about what’s been going on at their school, right? It will be good for me to know what’s happening on campus.

I was just scanning the document, bumping up against and bumping beyond a bevy of headlines about football, volleyball, new additions to the art room, comparing and contrasting social networks (yawn), and then I reached page three. Wait a minute! I was suddenly staring at the blatantly verboten. A headline about world news. I was stunned. A publication for a school of 300 was for some reason deeming it apt to report on events in a foreign country nearly 5000 miles away. There it was in hard, cold print:

Chilean Miners Rescued 

In a Miner Key
That’s all I read. But the damage was done. I had planned to blog about the miners still being underground since the rescuers weren’t supposed to have a way out prepared until around Christmas. Last I had heard on Sept. 11 before I went to “sleep was that they were okay, but it was important that they exercise. Also, some of them might have to lose weight to be pulled up the narrow hole that was being drilled through a half mile of rock. I thought I’d offer some suppositions about how they might be passing the time.

- Card games, including Chilean Hold 'Em?
- Watching Three's Company reruns on small TV lowered down to them?
- Finally time enough to read Proust's Au Recherche de Temps Perdu?
- Writing screenplay about their adventure, Big Misters No Sunshine?
- Sweatin' to the Oldies?

And I’d wonder too if it might be possible to get wi-fi half a mile beneath the surface of the earth. (Preliminary answer to my own question: Probably not or Starbucks would have already opened in mines.)

I recognize that’s all a lost opportunity, but at least I learned a lesson from this. Assume nothing. Stay away from all publications. I don’t even trust the church bulletin or the KFC coupons that come in the mail.

And I’m left to wonder. How did they get the miners out so fast? It must have been exciting, right? Were BP execs there taking notes on how to deal quickly and efficiently with the aftermath of a disaster and do it way ahead of schedule? Inquiring minds want to know these things. But don’t tell me. I’ll find out the details in about, let’s see, nine months. Oh my. Anyone seen my deck of cards? - V.W.


No comments:

Post a Comment