Sunday, February 7, 2010

One Of Those "Oh Snap" Moments

I thought that I had considered all of the ways that I might get killed doing my line of work.

I've imagined getting stabbed or sliced or just beaten to death.

I've imagined being thrown off the walk and coming to a sudden stop on the concrete.

I've imagined catching something icky and going out slowly.

I've even imagined being accidentally shot by another staff member. I've seen most of us around guns. Aint nobody here Annie Oakley.

But it never once even crossed my mind that I could be taken out by an immense fireball of diesel fuel. That just never occurred to me.

Lt. Pinocchio came wandering down to the house this evening and as he strolled up he asked "Do you smell diesel fuel over there?" and pointed to the other side of the pod. I walked over and sniffed, but my sinuses are all clogged up and I couldn't smell anything.

After we went into the office he sent Ms. Twang out to see if she could smell it and she could. So the Lt had me call one of the yard dogs down with a key for the gate and we went out to investigate.

In between our house and the next one up we have an emergency generator. They test it every thursday right before BG and I get in. We have alot of electrical problems and we have several generators. They come in handy.

As soon as we hit the gate the wind shifts and I can smell the fumes. We wander over to the generator. I can see small puddles in the mud all around the concrete base. Melted snow? Or something more?

Intrepid me sticks his finger in the puddle and gives it a sniff. Diesel! And then I look around and realize that I am standing right in the middle of several large puddles of spilled fuel.

Oh snap.

I start to reach for my radio and think better of it.

Then I carefully step my way out of the mushy bomb I am standing on and go several feet away before calling for the Lt. I have no idea how much of it is spilled into the ground and whether or not there might be an underground tank or just a pipeline. Just in case, I want to get as far away from the thing as I can.

So...... what do you think our chances are of getting the 24 hour maintenance guy on call to come in on a superbowl sunday?

Zero to none, it turns out. He calls back and the two inmates who work on the generators with him go out with a pipewrench and just shut off the fuel to the generator at the pipe and go back to finish watching the game.

And, as it turns out, that generator runs the power to all of the control rooms to all of the houses on this side of the camp.

So if this snowstorm they are predicting for tonight manages to knock out the power (like has happened in the past) guess what?

No lights, no power doors. We would have to manually open every single lock.

Things could get ugly real quick.

Hoo boy.

Never saw that one coming.


  1. If i dont see a post from you on Monday, I'll assume you are dead.

  2. Buddy- I might just get snowed in, too. You might want to wait until Tuesday just to be on the safe side.

  3. I wouldn't worry too much about a fireball. I'm no expert, but diesel is hard to combust with just a flame. Of course its not me standing in a lake of it.