Thursday, August 07, 2008

omg...homegirl is wearing culottes

This week, I earned my certificate for Sea Survival, Helicopter Safety & Egress. I had to take the course because I may be visiting some offshore platforms on my trip to Angola in October and if they tump the helicopter over in the water, they don’t want me flailing about frantically in the diluted solutions of urine and doodoofeces that will be shooting from my body like a sneezy whale nostril and getting on everyone else. What they don’t know is that I am calm and collected in all emergencies. Like one time, at prom, I forgot to pull my thong down and I wound up peeing on it so I didn’t panic. I just ripped the sides and went back to the dance sans panties like it was no big deal. It’s all part of being Crystal.

The guy that was conducting the course was an older fellow who, in his free time, probably listens to Phish and smokes weed and surfs and entertains his friends with stories like this: “She said huh? And I was like, Really?, and she was like yeah and I was like no way! and she was like uh-huh and I was like you’re not serious! and she was like yeah and I was like Got any Doritos?” I would talk more shit, but I think he had something to do with saving my life that day so I guess I’ll stop here. Even though he was a total jerkface about it.

They drug us out to the pool and we got in and learned how to jump and use an immersion suit and stuff like that. There was also this metal cage waiting for us. It had 2 seats on the inside and one window next to each seat. I volunteered to go first because none of the guys were stepping up. My partner was this guy who spent half the day with a large and in charge booger on his face that no one would tell him about. So the instructors gave us helmets in which they had blacked out the face shields with duct tape. I almost asked if he needed an extra helmet for the booger, but his booger had a good attitude and seemed pretty resilient. We got in the cage and put on shoulder harnesses and lap belts, secured the helmets. Then they turned the cage upside down in the water. We had to wait 8 seconds, the hippie guy tapped on the cage and then we could undo our seatbelts and swim out of our respective windows. The second time, I had to follow my partner out of his window. The third time, he followed me out of my window. Easy, right? Being flipped upside down underwater and blind is completely disorienting. Your top becomes your bottom. Your right and left stay the same, but it doesn’t feel like it. The first time went off beautifully. The second time, I had to follow Chris and his booger out and it went terribly wrong. I waited my 8 seconds hanging like a bat in the dark and then I gave him an extra 3 to get out ahead of me. I unclasped my belt and felt for his chair, then felt for the window and then pushed myself hard and started swimming where I thought was “up”, but somehow, I wound up back in the cage and I couldn’t find my way out. I was terrified. Everywhere I swam I ran into a wall and nobody was coming to save me. My chest started doing that weird thing where it is involuntarily trying to suck in air only I wouldn’t open my mouth. I finally got out somehow. I have a feeling that old hippie guy was just going to wait for me to pass out so I would be easier to remove from the cage and if I was dead, he would get to use his brand! new! defibrillator! that he was so proud of. I couldn’t hold my breath any longer and wound up chugging and inhaling a lot of water. And then he promptly made fun of me. It was awesome. And then he made me get back in and do it over again. Let me tell you that holding your breath for 15 seconds is really hard even when you are not out of breath from ALMOST DYING.

I know that many of you are ultimately concerned about the fate of Chris’ giant booger. It was gone by lunch.

P.S. What is up with the sudden emergence of culottes? I counted three at my work today.


Blogger Sean said...

they do this for HMMWVs now. well, not the underwater part. but they put us in a mock truck and roll it over and over a couple times with things bouncing around in there to show you why it's important to strap things like ammo cans down. amazing how fast tunnel vision sets in. but i never thought of a civilian job where such skills would be useful. hire me please.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

sean! dude. no fair. i can no longer access your blog. hook me up por favor.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

What's wrong with culottes? I have like 4 pair. They look sharp on me. You could say I put the "cool" in culottes.

Kill me.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Don't you kind of wonder if the booger came off in the water near you or *gasp* floated ON YOU!!!

& cullotes are cool, we just didn't give you memo;)

2:00 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

At least you have ample flotation equipment already built in. Zing!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Christie said...

I would have been crying within 3 seconds, because I get super nervous whenever I have to hold my breath.

4:04 PM  
Blogger The Grunt said...

Where's the Hoff when you need him most?

4:30 PM  
Blogger Melliferous Pants said...

I want Doritos.

That instructor sounds like a douche-a-saurus-rex.

I know a guy who wears men's dress slacks that have been chopped off to shorts. I thought only 2 year old boys could get away with that? Nope! 27 year old dudes can too!

1:23 AM  
Blogger jay are said...

mens dress slacks hacked off to shorts? spare us all. culottes are fine for some folk but like lots of borderline styles, only about 2 percent of the population should wear them and about 60 percent try.

But that's really neither here nor there considering the fact that you almost drowned...yikes! that would've been terrifying. I can't even imagine crossing that line into panic...not sure that sounds very fun. That instructor guy probably liked you and it was a sort of courtship for him, you know---his special way of showing you he cared.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

the booger was gone by lunch? was IT lunch???!!!!

6:11 PM  
Blogger Librarians ROCK! said...

That sounds like crap! We had to do a ropes course to go to shit- a lady in a wheel chair taught it. The last thing she said before we 'donned our gear and proceeded to the course" was "if you cannot finish this cannot be relied upon on the ice."
Two minutes into the course ALL of last years winter overs had taken the escape zipline to the field across the creek and were happily dozing in the sun. I, on the other hand, finished the course and practically dislocated my ovaries while attempting to leap 5 feet from one rope to an elevated platform and landed promptly on my voluptuos gut. I didn't want kids but bruised ovaries are no fucking joke.
At least I didn't have a hippie and booger to deal with. And my friend Jeff gave me a HOHO after.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Effortlessly Average said...

Oh c'mon, admit it: with a rack like yours you should be able to hold your breath for, like, ten minutes or something, right?

And... um... "egress?" You have to be certified in how to vomit? Was this super-model training? I became an expert at egressing when I took a ride in a fighter jet. Yummy.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Neal said...

When you're laying underwater strapped to a sinking helicopter next to a flaming oil rig in the middle of some war-torn country, you'll be thanking the Phish-listening Dorito-eater for making you practice one more time.

11:44 AM  

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