A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, May 23, 2008

There Will Be Greed – Part 2

It’s time for another episode of the ongoing continuous saga: “Congress Meets the Oil Men.” Once again, we find our elected public servants questioning oil company executives about their always rising standard of living which is directly related to the ever rising prices at the gas pumps. Our Congresspeople are fit to be tied about this situation and they’re not going to take it anymore!

They ask the executives pointed questions, listen to the calm answers about supply and demand, then retort with withering words of deep sarcasm! Ooh, I’ll bet they’re scared now! The oil executives are, in one respect, very good sports about this now monthly get together in Washington. I’m not sympathetic to them, but I admire the way they drop everything to travel to Capitol Hill just to take all of this verbal abuse.

It’s always good to see Congress taking action, even if it’s just sitting in a room and engaging in a verbal jousting match with the rogues of our capitalistic system. Of course, it is possible that all of this is just theatre. After the television cameras are turned off and the print journalists have retreated to their pressrooms, the atmosphere may change noticeably in the hearing room. After hours we could hear exchanges like this:

OIL EXECUTIVE – “Wow, you were real rough on us today! What gives?”

CONGRESSPERSON – “Oh, come on, you know us better than that! All that stuff we were saying was just our constituents talking. Join us for a drink? By the way, Conoco, your check to my re-election PAC bounced. What’s up with that?”

...and so on.

Of course I don’t know what Congress was expecting to hear from the executives. Did they really think that one of them would break down and confess to some sort of price fixing? Do they really expect to hear one of them say, “I can’t take this sarcasm anymore? I confess! I e-mailed my counterpart at Exxon-Mobil with a proposal to add a few billions to our golden parachute by gouging the American public!” I’m not holding my breath for this revelation, although it would do wonders for the ratings at C-SPAN!

So what can we, the American consumers, do to express our deep displeasure with the oil executives? What are our options after we’ve already crossed them off our Christmas card list? I struggled with this question while I listened to news reports about the executives appearing before Congress. The reports stated that the Senate committee was grilling the executives, and this gave me an idea.

I realize the media were speaking metaphorically, but allow me to reach into the darker side of my (stereotypical) German ancestry and use the word grilling in the literal sense. Grilling is a good idea, although my personal preference is either sautéing with onions and peppers, or my all-time favorite: deep-frying (see recipe below). My thanks to Og Ohula, a resident of the upper Amazon River region, for this recipe:

5 oil company executives
Very large vat of sweet crude
Garbanzo beans

Bring crude to a rapid boil or a temperature of 450 degrees. Drop in executives one at a time, frying until they are crispy and float to the top. Garnish with garbanzo beans. Serves 10.

No, I’m not advocating cannibalism, although clearly Mr. Ohula doesn’t have a problem with the concept. In fact, I have it on good authority (Mr. Ohula again) that deep-fried oil executives aren’t all that tasty. It’s best to just throw them away, and besides, it would be a terrible waste of garbanzo beans. It’s best to save those for your tossed salad.

Granted that boiling executives in oil won’t change our gas prices, but it makes as much sense as appearing in the Congressional theatre. We’re fast approaching a day of reckoning for the American consumer and businesses. We will have to adopt new work and commuting patterns just to keep the country functioning. We can only hold out our hands for more money for so long, before the whole system collapses on top of us.


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