24 January, 2011

In case of explosion ... why not try an oxygen mask?

If the last entry didn't convince you that La Mondaine shouldn't be allowed to watch the news (or leave you wondering how she manages to dress herself in the morning without hanging herself from a ceiling fan by her underwear), then this should do the trick.

Last year the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand suffered a series of explosions over several days, trapping and killing twenty-nine miners. La Mondaine, in her running day-long analysis of ... well, everything that passed before her eyes, really, began declaiming loudly that if it was one of her children in the mine, she'd be rushing down the mine right away.

Noting that the Stress Fiend appeared singularly unimpressed, and putting this down to the Stress Fiend having no children (and no interest in having children) she turned to me for support.

Yeah, I know.

"Wouldn't you do the same?" she asked, wide-eyed and breathless with the great dramatic possibilities of it all.

"No," I replied with equal parts truth and malicious desire to puncture her Heroic Parent Fantasy.

"How could you not? They're your children! I'd be in there so fast if it was my boys!"

"Because I don't know a thing about mines. Because it's two kilometres underground. And because the mine is probably filled with explosive, poisonous gas." (The mine experienced three more explosions over the next few days).

La Mondaine floundered for a few seconds. Apparently it hadn't occurred to her that there were legitimate reasons parents and loved ones weren't being permitted - and in face weren't being actively encouraged - to mount their own rescue expeditions.

Then she threw sanity overboard, and rallied to her cause.

"I'd wear an oxygen mask!"

"That wouldn't help with explosive gas."

"I'd attach an air-hose!"

- WTF? -

"Explosive  gas," I remind her. "I don't think the air hose will help much with that."

"The other end of the hose would be outside the mine. That would be safe."

(Because as everyone knows exploding gas is only a danger when inhaled. I feel, somehow, that Bill Clinton may be ultimately to blame here.)

"Two kilometres underground," emphasises the Stress Fiend. "That's a lot of hose to carry with you."

"But it would protect me from the explosive gas," she insists, lost in daydreams of braving the dark and the heat and the flames to rescue her children from Certain Death when all the world has given up on them, proving once and for all to her sons that they can't live without their mother.

"I'd do it," she says bravely, lower lip almost quivering with doomed heroism, "I'd do it for my boys."

And it probably makes me a terrible person, but it's hard not to hope that maybe, one day, she'll get the chance...

No comments: