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This One?

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posted by Jay on September 14th, 2009 at 8:42 PM

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Ali was my helper while I was doing my time in The Empty Quarter or Rub al Khali in Saudi Arabia. No matter what you said Ali always said, “This One?” That was all that he had ever been able to learn in English, “This One?” Ali and I worked together well. Let me paint you a picture. Ali is willing to help at any task but he just doesn’t have the mental capacity to be a whole bunch of help so you try to communicate as best you can but “This One?” is being said constantly. So much that you really can’t stand to hear another one of those “This One’s?” Ali was just not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Now don’t get me wrong Ali made a hand. He never turned down any task or assignment and he was very cheerful. He was just a drilling stand off bottom. Ali and I sprayed diesel all over the Halliburton cementing unit and took our brushes with rig soap in a bucket and we washed that unit off really cleaning it up. We had a high pressure water hose with a homemade pressure sprayer built in. There were two large diesel tanks behind the radiators and a couple of tool boxes. I decide to stand between the diesel tanks and wash off all of the soap and diesel. Ali and I coordinated this project as best we could and I was to hold the water hose. I just could not let Ali do it, he may let go of the high pressure water hose and get hurt. I’m holding on to the water hose with one hand and waving at Ali with the other while looking through the radiators. He looked at me and I could read his lips when he said, “This One?” before pushing the throttle down wide open. The force from this water hose laid me flat out on my back between the diesel tanks holding on the water hose with every ounce of my strength. I know if I let go this homemade high pressure connection is going to beat me literally to death. Ali on the other hand is enjoying operating the throttle on the pump trunk. He has no idea that I am in trouble, he’s in la la land and looking the other direction. I am young and have the will to live. I finally muster the strength to bend the water hose just enough to get the spray going toward Ali so that he would shut this down before killing me. The guys on the rig thought that it was just about the funniest thing that there ever was. This was a serious lesson for me. Ali got to wash the soap off and I controlled the throttle. Worked for me. Yes, Ali “This One?” Ali was a Great Helper.

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