I Would Fail This Test


If you'd like to work in a South African gold mine, three miles beneath the earth -- then you'll have to contend with the free-fall terror of the "manwinder" -- a contraption which gets the miners down to where they need to be, and you'll have to deal with the creepiness of the "ghost miners," a "rabble of impoverished men" who penetrate the mines, abetted by criminal gangs, and then live in the mines and steal gold ore (they stay down for months at a time, until their skin turns gray -- and folks smuggle down wives, prostitutes, and food for them, in a lucrative black market) and you'll suffer the extraordinary heat and humidity, but before you get to experience all this, you must perform step exercises in a "test chamber" in order to see if your body can cool itself efficiently, and then and only then do you get a 14 day trial period in the mine . . . and my body can't regulate heat very well, so I don't think I'm going to change professions (I'm learning about this in Matthew Hart's new book Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal).

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