(December 1988, Romania) I was a student of electricity and mechanics in
Communist Romania. At the time, it was mandatory for all children,
including university students, to boost the economy by 'active
participation.' Each autumn we worked in agriculture, harvesting fruits and
vegetables, and for three weeks per year we were required to train in a
power plant or factory, to get a feel for successful communist
industry. This was known as "Rub The Mint".
My class was sent to Slatina where aluminum was obtained with the old
power-hungry electrolysis process. We were not much use, so we were ignored
by the people in charge of our 'training.' We spent the down time reviewing
our class notes. Not only were the students bored, but so were many workers
in the factory, who were actually paid for doing nothing.
One day I was assigned to walk documents from one department to another. On
the way, I spotted two men crafting a wooden coffin. I was accustomed to
all kinds of crazy sights, but a coffin... intriguing. Was the aluminum
factory branching out into funeral supplies? No. "The coffin is for a
comrade who accidentally removed himself from the gene pool," the
woodcrafters told me.
Two recent hires, men in their twenties, were fiddling with the pressurized
air hose used to power industrial air tools. They swept the dust off their
dusty clothes; this was so much fun, one of them dropped his pants to feel
the air sweep across his testicles. He bent further, and bet his comrade
that he had the guts to pressurize his guts, and maybe have some fun farts.
He proceeded to stick the hose in his anus and release six bar
(atmospheres) of pressure, inflating and rupturing his colon and
He died within minutes from massive internal hemorrhage. He would not have
survived even if he had pressurized himself in a hospital corridor. The
autopsy revealed that the deceased had ruptured several meters of his colon
and intestines. He was later found to have broken (heh) internal (heh)
regulations. His 'scientific collaborator' stated that he did not believe
his comrade would be so stupid as to proceed, and thought he was only
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Submitted by: Florin Ungureanu
Reference: Eyewitness account, without media coverage since it happened during Communist times.