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Diary of a Canary in a Coal Mine



September 1

The Mine has been re-opened! Invisible deadly vapors and gases that caused widespread illness and death amongst the miners are gone (at least the Company thinks they’re gone) so hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work I go!


Must admit, feeling a little nervous about going back into the mine. I’m sure they’ll bring me out at the first sign of danger. Which is my job! I’m literally the First Sign of Danger! So proud. Must be grateful, lucky to have work!


Good Night for now. Well, I guess it’s always night in a mine!


September 2

Happy to report I’m still alive! The Miners are coming back tomorrow. Company had to hire many younger miners since older ones still not so alive. Mining Company President himself assured us that the mine is perfect, very safe. Not sure President has ever been down a mine. Says younger miners don’t get carbon monoxide poisoning very easily. Not sure President knows what carbon monoxide is. President says miners very behind in mining skills due to temporary closure, must get back to work!


(Company tried HomeMining during shut down, didn’t go so well. Lots of deep holes going nowhere in backyards now.)


September 3

Miners are back! New safety rules: Must wear masks ALL THE TIME and promise to stay one pick axe length away from each other. This will help with air circulation and pick axe accidents. So far, so good.


Atmosphere is perfect.


September 4

Miners very rambunctious today and not good followers of new safety rules here in Section 13! This morning, Miner Tyler sneezed into his mask, then sling shot it at Miner Ryan’s face. Everyone laughing, good times. In retaliation, Miner Ryan took his mask off, grabbed Miner Tyler and blindfolded him with snot infested mask. More laughing.


To get them to take this seriously and stay focused on their work, I played dead. Back fired. While I was dead, Miner Jason put wad of gum on my perch.


September 5

Not sure if it’s something I ate, but feeling a little funny.


Instead of working, miners put on puppet show using masks. Must admit, made me laugh, esp. part where environmentalist puppet tasted a piece of anthracite and said “This lignite is delicious!” All masks fell off, laughing so hard. Coal jokes are the best.


Air quality = super duper.


September 6

Little bit of a cough, still feeling hot, then cold, then hpr, etc. Touch of the flu, I’m guessing.


Temporary mask shortage, so Company has issued lined paper (three hole plunched!),

pipe cleaners and a stapler. Miners spent morning constructing own madjds. Miner James C. only one with a Sharpie, so they all had to take truns using it to drawb monster tiith and/or Gene Simmon’s tongue on their mafs. Not much worf accimpulhed.


Air is flglkbviu.


September 7

We’re all feeling a bit vbdreaish today. Miners just sitting around, looking aifpgui. Got so dizzy even walking in a strabnrm line. President sent message, says everything is wisdjo gd qjkciuo, iuosdf n qiyw. So I guess this means we’re comblutly fcuked.


Feeling sleegly. Gojf Niwbd for now.

By Christine Stevens

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© 2023 by C.M. Stevens