Anon was Indian and a laundryman. A good one. It always amazed me that he ironed my clothes everyday. Work duds to boot. I mentioned more than once that his efforts were over the top. Washed, dried, and rolled up in the laundry bag was adequate. He insisted. Not vocally, but by continuing the practice. One night, through a comedy of errors, we thought the laundry was ablaze. It looked like it. Turned out that Anon was ironing and tossed the bucket of water he used into an air-conditioner vent and fried an electric motor. When he screamed, “Fire!” The driller, Mach-mood, a Syrian, discharged a 40-pound extinguisher into the space without first looking into the room the see where Anon was. All of it. Right in Anon’s face. Anyway, during the investigation, I got to a wondering, like you are now, what the one-gallon bucket of water was for? Anon didn’t have a spritzer, so he filled his mouth from the bucket and spit it all over my shirt and pants.
One day a pusher I know toted a pressure washer and a gallon of gasoline to camp. He instructed Samir, the laundryman, to dab a bit of gas on spots of diesel-based mud on the crew’s coveralls and hose them down with the pressure washer. Samir was a thinker. He decided to just add the gasoline to a load in the washing machine. If a dab worked, a lot would work better.
He said nothing happened until he pushed the “Es-start” button. Samir looked like the first runner up in a Chihuahua look-alike contest. Hairless and dazed.
I think the laundryman is the most important person on a rig. Don’t believe me? Take two pair of underwear to work. When you don’t get a pair back in your bag, …
Do the math.
Had that happen to me once, in Saudi Arabia. I started with more than two pair, but my supply dwindled with each washing. Did you know there is a box for spare drawers? A big box, too. When I asked the camp boss about my missing unmentionables, he brought it to me. I used a pencil to pick though an assortment of silk speedos, (I’m Saudi mind you,) tighty-whities, and boxers.
“I don’t see ‘em,” I said and handed him the box.
He shrugged, pushed the box toward me again, and said, “This no problem, you pick.”