Will the last miner out please turn out the lights?


A miner measures mine minerals

Image via Wikipedia

After more than two months trapped in an underground mine, the Chilean miners are about to be rescued. I’ve followed their plight and marveled at their fortitude and positive attitudes. How many people could live trapped in a small underground space for so long and not lose hope? These guys were great – they organized themselves with a leader, designated areas within their small space for specific tasks, and kept up as near a normal semblance of life as possible in their circumstances. Meanwhile families prayed and held vigils and people around the world rallied and united to help their cause. The US, concerned that the miners could develop permanent eye problems by suddenly coming out of the dark into the light,  even contributed special $400 (each) Raybans, to protect the miner’s eyes from the harsh light of day.

So now, as they’re about to be rescued, we hear that – well they’re not quite ready to come out after all. At first it seemed like a case of solidarity and brotherhood – no one wanted to be the first out of the mine. “You go.” “No, I’m good, you go. Really. I’ve waited this long, what’s a little longer. ” But then we heard, not only did the miners not want to be first out, but everyone wanted to be last. Not only were they all wanting to be last, but they were FIGHTING to be last. These guys who lived like uncannily amiable brothers for two months fighting now that’s it’s time to leave? Are they afraid to return to terra firma? Afraid to face the real world after two months stuck in miner Walden? Afraid to find out that their stocks tanked and the Chilean housing market sucks?

Well, turns out it’s none of the above. The miners finally revealed their alternative motive – the last miner out will be listed in the Guinness World Records for the longest time a miner has remained underground. Thank goodness it wasn’t for some silly and spurious reason! 

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