So there he was. Like the eleven preceding days, he woke up at 5:05am, drank some V8 and a protein shake, and ate a cup of oatmeal. Grabbing his salami sandwich, he headed from camp to the change shack where he put on a pair of coveralls, which even after washing strained the definition of clean. After a brief safety meeting he grabbed a pair of gloves and headed outside. Taking in one last moment of stillness, he rolled one ear plug at a time between his left forefinger and thumb and then placed them into his ears. Finally, he picked up a case of bottled water and began the climb up the three flights of stairs which led to the rig floor. It was his thirty-third birthday.
The day proceeded no differently from any other. That’s the beauty of the work. Suddenly, however, in an act which some might label a miracle, he looked down to the ground and saw a co-worker carrying three familiarly brown and orange cardboard pizza boxes. It seemed someone up above was smiling down on him.
The hot-n-ready’s made their way up to where he was, and he happily indulged in a slice the first moment he could. What the reader doesn’t know was that sitting on the same table, brought up to the rig floor only moments earlier, was a bag of McDoubles. Remember, now, that he had his salami sandwich waiting. So while everyone who knew him knew that the McDouble was his favorite fast food burger in the whole wide world, he had vowed that he’d stick with his sandwich that day. But now, on his birthday of all days, he was staring at his favorite burger and pizza–free for the taking. The packaging alone had him salivating like a French mastiff. And now that he had committed to the pizza, he said the hell with it. Though it remained seated fairly high on his bucket list despite its nominal price, he had never before eaten a slice of Little C’s followed by a McDouble. Unable to stand there and stare for forever, he quickly grabbed the burger and headed back outside. Within a minute he found himself gasping for air and wondering if he really was going to die choking on a McDouble. Lucky for all of us, he stayed calm, swallowed hard, and smiled a smile that rivaled the Pacific’s width. And to think he was getting paid.