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Thursday, July 08, 2010

As Crude Oil Spreads Thoughout Gulf, So Does Harassment

By now, we've all heard about the millions of gallons of crude oil spilling into the ocean each day.  But there's a different story coming out of the gulf region that many Americans may not be aware of.  A social phenomenon of sorts, the area has seen an enormous upswing in new residents since the oil hit the water some 6 weeks ago.  And no, we're not talking about displaced animals, bankrupt fishermen, or Cuban immigrants, but rather the literal crude oil itself, which is proving to be more of a headache to get rid of than anyone ever imagined.  "Getting it out of the water was the easy part.  Getting it to leave is the tricky thing," commented BP executive Donald Plainsight.  "We can filter it and barrel it, but that doesn't make it any less of what it is already: crude, rude, and with nowhere to go."

Crude may be an understatement by this point however.  Several residents of the coastal town of Sarasota, Florida have filed complaints with city hall about the rising crudeness level citing whistling, cat calling, and foul odors from the crude oil.  Many fear the crudeness could reach the heights of the 1920s, when barrels of oil worked in the steel industry.  Within a year, hanging steel was one of the crudest professions one could keep. So much so that the term 'hanging steel' became another variation on an already crude sexual theme created by the oil barrels themselves to describe their lifestyle.  Women were whistled at from above, workers started smoking cigarettes, and comments like "check out the cans on that hoochie-coo" were heard more and more often until the oil barrels were forced out of the steel industry and underwater- literally.  In fact, many historians agree that aside from the stock market crash, the real cause to the great depression was the forced exile of millions of barrels of crude into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.  A proverbial 'trail of tears,' the oil trudged it's way to the ocean leaving our national morale at an all time high as we thought we had finally wiped the slate clean.

In the years that passed, many Americans became so milk toast you could see through them.  God found a place in American society, and sex for pleasure was reserved for people that were of a lower class.  Indeed, the days of 'hanging steel' were but a foggy memory.  Throughout the years, there were a few cries for help from the oil community however; that whole Exxon/Valdeez thing for example.  The oil remained crude despite our attempt to keep it down.  But we paid it little mind, continuing on with our merry lives, murdering millions of gallons of crude each day simply to power our cars, airplanes and leaf blowers.  Today crude oil is apparently back and here to stay, littering once-affluent neighborhoods and beach communities with their presence, odor and all around bad attitude.

As the days continue to pass, more and more oil spills into the gulf threatening our way of life as we know it.   Rescue efforts seem pitiful at best.  And while some residents think we should try and reach out to the oil in an effort to make amends, even the most diplomatic of politicians has a hard time keeping his cool.  U.S.-Government-hired Art Blanderson*, trained hostage negotiator and diplomat, described his attempt at making peace:
I arrive for my meeting with Dr. Crude, the leader of the local Crude tribe, and immediately he sticks his hand down his pants and scratches himself.  Then he reaches his arm out to shake.  What am I supposed to do with that!?  He said he bet my grandmother really loved the D.  I should have kicked his fucking face in!
Indeed it is a long road ahead before we'll see any change in the crude region.  And while some small efforts have been made, and some nice barrels of oil found, it's clear that someone or something needs to intervene before the problem spreads out of the gulf and into the rest of the world.

*Blanderson was fired just 5 minutes after this article was published.

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