Saturday, February 28, 2015

What's going on with the drug screens?

I’ve been hearing some very interesting stories from friends getting random drug tests. It’s a given being in the oil patch, and I understand how oil related companies can be sued for millions. If an accident happens while someone is high on drugs, it could devastate a company. But, the stories I’m hearing about having to get visual drug screens are starting to get weird.
A “visual” is where an observer watches you “go” in the cup. That person is there to make sure they’re not cheating, but we all know what’s happening. Two men, who are complete strangers, have their heads pointed in one direction, well, in most cases, watching urination hit plastic.
From what I hear, the rooms can be very small. In some cases four feet by four feet. That’s the size of a stall.  Look, if you can put a hand on the observer’s shoulder and pee in the cup, that’s too close for most men, especially men in the oilfield. 
I’m now hearing they’re making men drop their underwear below their knees, lift their shirt, and spin around.
Spin around? They want a full moon, from guys in the oilfield? Are they out of their mind? When I heard this, I thought, maybe it could be the observer having some fun.
“You’re not going to believe what I got this guy from BP to do. I had him drop his pants, lift up his shirt, spin around, and stand on one foot. I told him to sing Happy Birthday while he was peeing.”
“The guy did it?”
“Freakin’ right. He makes 200k a year and they’re laying people off. Another five-thousand workers and I’ll get them to quack like a duck.”
Is this procedure?
Is not watching the stream go directly into the cup enough?
Is there one guy doing this to everybody?     
What the hell is going on here?
I have to say, my friends in the industry are starting to feel violated, some in their sixties are confused. I heard one, almost seventy, had stripped off his clothes in front of the observer and said, “Now, is this bare-assed enough to let you know I haven’t smoked marijuana since Vietnam?”
Here’s a thought. Possibly, the powers that be could make the “Testies”  (No pun intended) take off all their clothes, put on a robe, and go in another room. I think that would take a lot less time. I’m hearing even hard core men have bashful bladder in circumstances like these.
The oilfield industry is one of the most dangerous professions to be a part of. You are constantly dealing with things that can hurt you, but, when trying to stay in a profession becomes whipping it out, and borderline humiliating yourself, I have to ask, who should get hazardous pay, the guy taking the test, or the guy having to watch a parade of guys taking the test?         
I guess both are hard core.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Who Owns Mardi Gras?

The powers that be of Mardi Gras in Terrebonne Parish,  the largest Mardi Gras celebration outside the city of New Orleans, has decided, in an unprecedented move, to move the parades of Lundi Gras and Fat Tuesday to the Sunday before, four parades in one day. There will be no parades Monday or Tuesday. The weather is “supposed/will be bad.” They can and they did. But, do they own Mardi Gras or does the public?

To the riders who say, I spent “all that money,” only to be greeted by the few stray diehards, ask yourself, when you spend all that money on deer season and don’t kill a deer, is it the same?

Tourist, who were invited to our city, by our city, next time check our weather before you book the flight. It didn’t mean to tick you off by coming here for nothing. I guess it figured it has the oilfield money to back it up. Oh, wait. Never mind.

And, that religious thing, it was forty days and forty nights, not forty two. But, hey, things have moved up. Let’s have that crawfish boil on Wednesday instead of Good Friday and be done with it. Of course, that’s “if” the weather is supposed/will be bad.

For those who say Mardi Gras is not cancelled but only the parades have been moved, why not get the Easter Bunny to deliver his eggs on the Saturday before Easter. I mean if the weather is going to be a problem in South Louisiana let’s just scrap it all, call it “Mardi Houma”, and move everything to a sunny day picked in between February 12th and  March 15th.  I do advise you not to screw with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but then again, we can have that any time the Irish get drunk. Rain or shine.

What about the businesses? “Well, at least now the distributors can buy back all the extra stock I bought in preparation for the festivities,” that’s a quote I heard, by NO business owner in Terrebonne Parish.

Now, I do want to wish good luck to the last krewe to roll on Sunday. Hunker down at Southland Mall. You will be there waiting for three parades to move before you. It’s not your fault. I honestly hope you enjoy your day. I’m a purest when it comes to Mardi Gras. Look at my previous post.

I would have loved to been at the meeting as the powers voiced their opinions. Was the move because of the bad weather, the chance to get Mardi Gras over with, or was the money spent by krewe members far too much for them to be cheated from a miraculous ride, disrupting tradition?

Whatever it was, it has now been set, a weather related precedent for any festival, 5K run, or non-profit function. Get the city to move them for you, free of charge. Postpone them, wait fifteen minutes, or, if you’re worthy, the actual day of the event could change and accommodate not only you, but all those involved, because now we know, it can happen. It was done for Mardi Gras.

Here’s some good thoughts though, we give up drinking two days early for lent and at Rouse's and Cannata’s, the price of king cakes should plummet Monday morning.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pomp and Mardi Gras

It’s another Mardi Gras without our matriarch, the woman who filled our lives with purple, green, and gold, sequins iridescent, and soft velvets of the rainbow. She made costumes, exquisitely, to bring joy, laughter, and of course, the pageantry of that once a year pomp and circumstance.
I’ve always liked that part. (She made me weird.)
I like to attend a parade on a crisp sunny afternoon, look up to a reviewing stand and see the maids dressed to the tee, debutantes for a day in an array of colors, their hats dipped just so completing their individual look. They always seem to hang along the rail, bright smiles and loving the crowd, chalice in hand, waving and enjoying what it means to be that part of Fat Tuesday. I’ve never seen a maid who wasn’t having fun.
Also on the reviewing stand are the dukes, past or present, handsome in their black ties and tails, tuxedos that have changed through the years, but still, dashing as they seem to feel, as they should, they are royalty for a day, and today there is an air about them, not the wild reveler when riding in their mystic krewe.
In the middle, always the Queen, stunning as she presides over her court, always outshining the others, if for no reason other than knowing she is for today the upper echelon. Queens, on a reviewing stand remind me of brides.
“All queens of Mardi Gras look beautiful and don’t you ever forget it.” I heard that as a young boy from the person who dealt with them. She knew they were our livelihood.     
And, yes, I enjoy the toast to the King and Queen. I know it stalls the parade but those who don’t understand are there for some other reason.
You see, the toast is when champagne glasses are raised, praises are made, and flowers are given to wives, daughters, friends, and dignitaries. A key to the city could be presented from a mayor or parish president, and all this pageantry, done high above revelers, I find freaking cool. And, when the toast is finished you can hear it, as they actually throw the glass down to the pavement to break it.
When I see the parade coming, I patiently wait through the motorcycles, dune buggies and clowns, and I smile when royalty stops at the reviewing stand and remember my childhood. It’s a part of my being; engraved from the earliest days. You could say it’s in my veins, not red, but the pomp and circumstance of purple, green, and gold.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl 2015

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. Here are some rules if you’re throwing a Super Bowl party. If you’re inviting someone to your house, don’t screw it up.

1.     Play a drinking game. When the announcer mentions the words “deflated”, those who drink should take a sip. It must only be used when referring to the football, not when referencing the cheerleaders.

2.     It’s a given. One of the teams will score right before the end of the quarter, half, or end of the game, pissing off a person at the party who had those numbers in a pool. If someone else has the new numbers, they should pretend to sympathize till one of them leave the room.

3.  The referees will completely screw up a call. When instant replay overturns it, “try” to get your guests to get over it and move on. It’s a game. I did say, “try.”

4.     If everyone brings a dish to your party make sure everyone brings something expensive or something that took a long time to make. I’m having a party and thought I should throw that out there.

5.     If women are at your party, Tom Brady’s looks and his supermodel wife will come into play. Men, please, get ahead of this. Explain that the cute quarterback, if he loses, is going home to a freaking supermodel.

6.  If the game is a blow out, everyone except Colorado is screwed.  

7.  Don’t be perplexed when at least one announcer during the game says that every player on the field is the “Best player in the league” ignoring the fact he can’t explain why a team can lose at all.

8.  If anyone is watching only for the commercials, tell them, shame, shame, shame. You could have seen those on the internet.

9.   Belichick will cheat. You just won’t know how.

And finally,

10.  A wardrobe malfunction is something you can wish for. Hell, it's Katy Perry.