Bad information.

Insomnia has a certain dreamlike quality to it. I woke up after midnight and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I thought I’d catch up on the headlines. Wow, I thought. All those miners safe! And Alan and I were just saying how sure we were that they were dead. It’s a miracle.

Then I woke up, hours later, and they were dead, all but one.

Someone — a lot of someones — got some bad information.

For once, I’m not blaming reporters. The management of this mine sounds like a real piece of work.

I went to college in southeastern Ohio, which is coal country. One of my roommates dated a miner, a young guy drawn to the work for the usual reasons. No, reason: It paid handsomely. And that was about the last good thing you could say about it. Medieval working conditions, punishing hours, danger around every corner and lots and lots of money. And since that’s about the only job that pays well in Appalachia, there’s no shortage of people willing to do it.

This guy my roommate dated? He took a shower when he reached the surface after a shift. He took another when he got home. Sometimes he took a third at our place, if he was sleeping over. And he still left black streaks on her sheets.

Best book about coal mining (fiction division): Martin Cruz Smith’s “Rose.”

May they all rest in peace.


Why Midwesterners flock to Florida all winter — it gets dark here:

“I just got off the phone with the National Weather Service,” Hugh McDiarmid Jr. said. “Guess how much sunshine we’ve had since Dec. 19.”

“In hours?” I asked.

“Wrong unit of measure,” he said.

“Less than one hour?”

“Fourteen minutes!”

Hell, it’s character-building.

Who is Jack Abramoff? Don’t ask the WSJ.

Posted at 7:42 pm in Uncategorized |

5 responses to “Bad information.”

  1. colleen said on January 4, 2006 at 9:38 pm

    I looked out the window today at 3:30 and it looked like 6:30. And people want Indiana to be in the Central time zone? Argh. Those of us with SAD would protest, if we only had the energy….

    Uninteresting trivial fact: Hugh McDiarmid Jr’s dad was best man at my parents’ wedding and his mom roomed with my mom at OU. (I think she was editor of The Post)

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  2. Dorothy said on January 4, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Waaaay up high at or beyond the polar ice cap is where our Russian exchange student’s family lives. They average about 14 minutes of daylight in January. And he always misses it because it’s around 10 AM, and he’s usually in school when it occurs. (They go to school 6 days a week there.) So you know he’s just lovin’ this South Carolina weather. Our high today was 62, I believe. I’ve been seeing robins when I leave the office at 5:30 each night.

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  3. vince said on January 5, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Here in the Pacific Northwest sun sets at 4pm and doesn’t rise til after 7:30 in the morning.

    Of course “sun” is relative. It’s highly filtered light often mixed with liquid sunshine.

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  4. Carmella said on January 5, 2006 at 7:01 am

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the miners and their families. But…I have to share my daughter’s comment, “Why do they keep ALLOWING children to go down there???” (she thought there were trapped minors…)

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  5. joodyb said on January 6, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    on weds, (dntn st. paul) saw the sun for 18 seconds, the first time since well before xmas. ‘what the hell is that?’ biz ed said
    as we all stared out the window.

    oh my god, carmella. that is too sad/funny/sad.

    a big thumbs up, nn. nice and clean.

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