Did someone confuse me with an oilfield?
Gail came home from work yesterday, looking a bit more ragged than usual.
Something about a near-interminable video conference with a Kuwaiti oil company, seven hours if you include the prayer breaks.
I could see she needed to let off steam about it, so I lent her a flappy but attentive little ear.
Apparently at this meeting there had been some difficulties with language and understanding, and this even before the Arabic speakers got involved.
Now even a dog, living in Aberdeen Scotland, the so-called 'Oil Capital of Europe', will absorb some of the industry jargon. For example, I find it fascinating how many words are animal related. We know that giant oilfields are 'elephants' whereas regions devoid of oil will be dismissed as 'cow pasture' (or 'moose pasture' to those from Canada). When drilling a 'wildcat' well, one might work in a 'dog house' and place drill pipe in a 'rat hole'. Should one wish to inspect a pipeline, one will probably use an 'intelligent pig'. Yes really!
Given all this colourful vocabulary, perhaps it should come as no surprise to learn that Gail was asked* at one point in this long meeting to distinguish between the 'bright and happy' areas and the 'rather fluffier' areas on her map of an oil field.
But Gail admits she was surprised, and a bit distracted, by this unconventional use of adjectives. Adjectives more commonly associated with, for example, a bouncing wire-haired fox terrier.
Next thing they'll be asking her which parts of the oil map are 'too cute' and which might be 'a tad boisterous'…
*Gail says: Need I add that this unusually phrased question came from an American oilman with an accent indicating origins somewhere below the Mason-Dixon line?