Things are not always what they seem

One thing being online and chatting with people from all over the world has reminded me of is the fact that those unfamiliar with oil field terminology could become confused if they were to overhear some of the conversations that went on out here.

For instance, if someone unfamiliar with patch lingo were to hear Larry say to me,"Let's get this sucker rod tied, I got to be downhole in Katie this afternoon." Well, that someone might think we were tying up somebody called Rod, that we thought was a sucker. And that my hubby had just also gleefully informed me he was about to have carnal knowledge of some gal named Katie that afternoon.

That would be the wrong assumption to make though. A sucker rod is a rod of metal or fiberglass from 5/8 of an inch to an 11/2 in diameter that is used in the oil field. Used sucker rods are often recycled into a variety of creative ways out here. We use the fiberglass ones to put up electric fences to keep stock in. We tie the fence wire to the rod after it has been driven into the ground. Katie is a town in Texas, and downhole is a term used to describe equipment etc. being down a well hole.

Or if you were to hear one man say to his buddy, "Hey pass me that pipe dope and then let's cut about a foot off this joint." You might, if you were unfamiliar with our lingo, think those two old boys were having one hell of drug party. Complete, with a special blend of wacky tobacco for a pipe, and a joint Cheech and Chong would have killed for.

You would be wrong though if you thought that. Not even out here are those kind of joints that big. Pipe dope is a thick greasy substance used to insure a water tight seal when joints of pipe or tubing are put together. Pipe and tubing joints are of course used downhole to bring oil up.

And if you ask a man out here what he does for a living, he might tell you he is pusher. He isn't selling drugs though. He is the oil field equivalent of a salesman And he may even be pushing that pipe dope or joints. Pushers out here sell and service everything from drilling rigs to tubing. Some of them make as much money as the other kind, but they don't get arrested for it. Instead, they put in long hours, drive fancy trucks, talk endlessly on their cell phones, set up meetings between each other that are often held out in the middle of nowhere, take prospective clients to lunch and dinner, and sometimes to nefarious places like strip bars. So though I must admit some of their duties might resemble those of a drug dealer to someone unfamiliar with how things are done in the patch, things are not always what they seem out here.

Of course when the patch is booming and people from all over are coming out here for jobs, you sometimes see some yanks with a rather stunned look on their face. So though being online has reminded me of the difference in terminology out here, I have seen the effects of what this lingo can do to those unused to our ways. It has rather the same effect as one being dropped into King Arthur's court I would say.

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