A Middle-Aged Woman Laughs–and Cries–Over the Muck
By: Mary Fran Bontempo

They finally plugged it up.

After nearly four months of destruction, when an explosion blew open an under water oil well, B.P. finally figured out the technology necessary to cap the well and halt the spewing oil, which had devastated wildlife and livelihoods throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Technically speaking, the fix wasn’t all that complicated, at least conceptually. Fill the pipeline full of mud heavier than the oil gushing out of it. The heavier mud would push the oil back down into the reservoir. Finally, cement could be pumped down into the pipeline to permanently seal off the well. Of course, executing the solution, at several miles below the surface of the ocean, proved more problematic, hence, the estimated 206 million gallons of oil that flowed into the Gulf before the brainiacs at B.P. figured out how to manage the job.

Now, though, things are looking good—relatively speaking. It appears (fingers crossed, everyone) that the well may indeed be sealed, unable to unleash any more sludge on the beautiful waters of the Gulf.

It got me to thinking. If B.P. figured out how to staunch the flow of muck from a runaway oil well miles beneath the ocean, would it be possible to tweak the technology to stopper other kinds of slop pouring forth on the American public?

For example, any chance we could plug up the likes of Howard Stern and his minions? I’ll include any purveyors of smut, along with the Jerry Springer types who pollute the airwaves with the vilest examples of human foibles. Stern is a one-man garbage dump, deriding everything even remotely wholesome during his diatribes. Springer (and I’ll admit, I came to like the man himself on his stint with Dancing With the Stars, so I don’t get his fascination with the perverse) likewise panders to the basest of human desires and weaknesses. I’ll even throw in any talk show host who insists on shouting above his or her guests in an attempt to prove their own intellectual superiority. (Which they don’t—Are you listening, Nancy Grace?) No one needs to be exposed to this junk. Could we fill their studios with mud and then seal them off permanently with cement? Any “host” needing a job could hawk used cars or Oxy-Clean or something.

What about any and all of the women “starring” on Bravo’s Real Housewives series? Surely the entire bunch (New York, Orange County, New Jersey, Atlanta, Washington—the amount of self-absorption is staggering), could vanish from the collective consciousness and never be missed, except for the fact that their shallowness and bad behavior makes the rest of us feel superior by comparison. Fill all of their gaudy, obscenely expensive houses with the B.P. answer to a prayer and make the gals work at missions for the poor. That might be a reality show worth watching.

Finally (and this would be a tough one to pull of, but it’s really worth a try), if we could manage to staunch the endless, mindless spewing of chatter and nonsense on the internet, the world would be eternally grateful, even if most internet devotees would temporarily experience heart palpitations at being deprived of their daily doses of blather. Twitter, Facebook, You Tube—any and all perpetrators guilty of streaming mind-numbing baloney across the internet highway would be shut down with a ton of muddy sludge dumped through their servers (or whatever vehicle they use to disseminate the trash). Of course, that would result in the elimination of ninety percent of internet content, but then maybe we’d all stand a chance of finding what we’re looking for without having to surf through mountains of irrelevant poo.

It seems only fitting that all the solicitors of sludge be shut down by receiving a huge dose of their own medicine. Dump a few tons of mud and cement on the entire lot and permanently staunch the flow of muck.

How about it, B.P.? You created one of the worst disasters in environmental history and finally figured out a way to end it. Don’t stop there. From coast to coast and everywhere in between, we’ve got a lot more mess to clean up.

Have your own ideas about what you’d like permanently stoppered?  Click “comments” below, in red, and share!