The camera kept panning over to a little boy in a blue jacket and white hard hat… we were told that his father was the miner taking that historic first capsule ride to fresh air and a burrito dinner. And I gotta tell you…. When that capsule came out of the ground, it was like the MTV rocket taking off. And when they opened the hatch for the first miner to unfold himself and come out, the look on that boy’s face as he ran to his papi was about as feel good as it can get! The tight hug and the tears said it all… aw, shit, I am getting goosebumps again just typing about it.
So why am I impressed? Think about this for a minute… first of all, these poor pricks have been 2300 feet under ground for 69 dark days and nights – that’s a long time with no nookie. The last time they saw the light of day, the Red Sox still had a shot and Rahm Emanuel was still kissing Obie’s ass. But every time we would see images of these guys, they were always in good moods, cheering like they were at a Shakira concert.
So how the hell were these guys gonna get out of the mine that had totally closed up around them? Cue the Chilean navy and NASA engineers. These two groups worked together in designing a rescue capsule and system of extrication that makes Lassie pulling Jimmy out of the well look like small beans. First, they had to drill 2300 feet down to the safe area, banking on good aim to break through above where the miners actually were partying. Fuck, I have a hard enough time trying to find a 2x4 behind ¾ inch of sheet rock without denting the shit out of my wall with a hammer! Then they lined the shaft with a steel pipe, the diameter of a basketball hoop. The capsule would be lowered down to the miners and one by one, they would take the 20 minute ride to freedom. But before these dudes could even get into the capsule, they had to endure a 2000 calorie diet for weeks to make sure their waist sizes were 37 inches or less. Talk about shit luck, as if it ain’t bad enough to be buried in a mine collapse, when they finally figure out how to send food and drink to you, it is lettuce, rice cakes and water. Not even a sniff of tequila or so much as a nibble off a chalupa.
So today the rescue continues… every hour or so, another miner makes that triumphant rise to the surface, hugs his family and gets whisked off to a medical tent for prodding and probing. Not sure how they decided the order of rescue, but I am betting this guy will be last.