Bad Day at the Office
1998 Urban Legend
Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job. As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It's a wetsuit.
This time of year the water is quite cool. So here's what we do to keep warm: We have a diesel-powered industrial water heater. This $20,000 piece of equipment sucks the water out of the sea. It heats it to a delightful temp. It then pumps it down to the diver through a garden hose which is taped to the air hose. Now this sounds like a damn good plan, doesn't it? I've used it several times with no complaints.
When I get to the bottom and start working, what I do is take the hose and stuff it down the back of my neck and flood my whole suit with warm water. It's like working in a Jacuzzi. Everything was going well until my ass started to itch. So, of course, I scratched it. This only made things worse. Within a few seconds my itchy ass started to burn. I pulled the hose out from my back, but the damage was done.
In agony I realized what had happened. The hot-water machine had sucked up a jellyfish and pumped it into my suit. This is even worse than poison ivy under a cast. I had put that hose down my back, but I don't have any hair on my back, so the jellyfish couldn't get stuck to my back. My ass crack was not as fortunate.
When I scratched what I thought was an itch, I was actually grinding the jellyfish into my ass. I informed the dive supervisor of my dilemma over the communications system. His instructions were unclear due to the fact that he and 5 other divers were laughing hysterically.
Needless to say I aborted the dive. I was instructed to make 3 hellish in-water decompression stops totaling 35 minutes before I could reach the surface for my chamber dry decompression. I got to the surface wearing nothing but my brass helmet. My suit and gear were tied to the bell. When I got on board, the medic, with tears of laughter streaming down his face, handed me a tube of cream and told me to coat my ass when I got in the chamber. The cream put the fire out, but I couldn't shit for two days because my asshole was swollen shut.
We've since modified the equipment to filter out most sea creatures.
Anyway, the next time you have a bad day at the office, think of me. Think about how much worse your day would be if you were to squash a jellyfish on your ass. I hope you have no bad days at the office. But if you do, I hope this will make it more tolerable.
Original source: forwarded email in August 1999