A while back I was down at my favorite watering hole, The Rig # 8, where I gather some of the best material for my column. That particular day a couple of old roughnecks were down at the end of the bar bragging about how smart their drillers were. They were safely snugged down behind a couple of Lone Star long necks and the emptier those bottles got the bigger the stories became. So naturally I sidled up and offered to buy the next round.
That seemed to rejuvenate their abilities so the short one launched into a yarn about how his driller once drilled a thousand feet in one tour. When the fat one cast some doubt concerning the feat the first guy doubled down with the information that what made the event even more unusual was that they were only running a three man crew that day.
Not to be outdone, the second roughneck allowed that maybe that could have happened, but that his driller once took up flying. In no time at all he became the best pilot in the country. He said that one time the driller was off several hundred miles from the drill site and had to get back to the rig before his tour started. Unfortunately during the trip his plane ran out of gas, but his driller was such a good pilot that he flew that plane the last 187 miles without any fuel before making a perfect landing at the drill site.
“Now wait just one minute,” the first roughneck declared. “He couldn’t do that. Its against the law of gravity.”
Then without missing a beat the second roughneck declared,“I know that, but it happened before the law was passed.”
Spending 20 years laboring in greasy overalls in the oil patch and doing a hard time stretch collecting oral histories for Texas Tech has provided Bobby Weaver with a wealth of oil field yarns. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.