It looks like in a day or two as of this writing that these fellows are going to be back above the ground, so it's entirely appropriate to bring this up again.
The world waits for these 33 men, lodged in the earth, to return to the surface and their families. It's something of a feel-good story (unless disaster strikes, and let's not think that way), rooting for these men to see the light of day. Something in their fortitude inspires us, speaks to something fundamental about what we are as human beings.
I'd say more about the experience these fellows are going through and its effect on the rest of us, but, hey, it's me, and somehow it wouldn't sound right. So let's just keep to the basics, shall we?
The crews above have drilled out their escape route, and it seems it's going to take an hour for the rescue capsule to make a trip, so it's going to take time. This is not an in and out sort of operation. It needs to be done carefully. Did I mention it needs to be done carefully, by the way? Imagine being alone in that capsule, on your way up after two months below ground. I expect it might be a lonely half hour to the top for each one.
As of tomorrow, the extraction process begins. A couple of medics and a couple of rescue workers will descend into the mine to check things out and to fully brief Los 33 on what to expect up top (lots and lots of reporters, for one). A general order has been set out, and there have apparently been some good natured disagreements about who goes up last. There's a record on the line, but it seems the record will be shared by all, regardless of who goes last.
I can think of who'd like to go up last. Yes, our friend with the wife and the mistress waiting for him up on the top. I've mentioned him before. He's got to be feeling a bit nervous. It seems he does indeed have a name (I was going to call him Juan. Or Pedro). In the weekend papers, his name came up in one of the articles I read. His name is Yonni, and he's been something of a leader down below among his fellow miners trapped below. Unfortunately the article didn't mention names for the wife and the mistress, and more's the pity. We'll just call them Maria and Esperanza.
So, our friend Yonni will be back on the surface in the next day or two. He'll be taken out among a glare of media (by the way, Los 33, you're all famous now; the world is watching!) to a tent, where medics will tend to him, and he'll get to see three family members.
Three family members. I'd expect Yonni's not really all that anxious to see the wife or the mistress. Not knowing that they know that he's been naughty. So in that precious little time before either of them show up, he'll need a cover story.
"Well, you see, here's the thing I never told you, Maria. See, I have an identical twin brother, who's also named Yonni. He must have been the one sleeping with Esperanza here. I wonder where Yonni is..."
Oh, yes, that can't possibly backfire on our friend, can it?
Well, the end is in sight. Los 33 will soon be emerging into a world very different from what they left. Two months ago they were anonymous miners working in a desert region that frankly looks like the moon. Now they're returning to the spotlight the world has cast on them, a testament to the human spirit.
What next? Well, there's the obvious lawsuit against the bankrupt company that sent them down there in the first place to get out of the way. There'll be books. Movies. A divorce or two (Yonni, I'm looking at you).
What about the mine itself?
Speaking personally, I can only suggest one final use for it.
Drop Grover into it after his conviction for Elmo's murder and blow up the rescue shaft.