Grabbed my shovel and I went to the mine


Here's one more addition to the list of Western industries being affected by the economic downturn: coal. Peabody Energy -- the world's biggest coal company, made famous as the villain in the John Prine song "Paradise" -- has announced that it is freezing all hiring at its three Wyoming coal mines. The company said in an letter to its employees that it plans to reevaluate all its capital projects and defer or cancel many of them.

And that's a real shame, because a job in coal mining offers the opportunity to swing a pick alongside some smokingly hot -- and scantily dressed -- co-workers.That, at least, seems to be the take-away message of this GE ad promoting clean coal.

The classic coal-mining song "Sixteen Tons" is playing in the background, but viewers of the ad never get to hear the chorus, which goes like this: "You haul sixteen tons, and what do you get? / You get another day older and deeper in debt." That's probably because the ad's producers realized that the chorus is no longer accurate. Nowadays you haul sixteen tons and what do you get? You get really, really, ridiculously good-looking.



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