Like most everyone, I have to turn my head rather than watch the spectacle of a pelican drenched in oil trying to flap its way along the muck and mire that’s become our new Gulf Coast shoreline. The tar balls haven’t reached us this far south yet, but we expect to get our share sometime this summer. It makes me sad. On Sanibel Island, not far from where I live, is J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge protects 220 species of birds. We visit at different times of the year to see it during the four “seasons” of Florida, but the nesting season in winter is best. Then birds from North and South America come to mate, hatch, and raise their young. It is hard for me to believe that BP may be responsible for destroying this treasure.
With a corporate culture of breaking the law and total disregard for the consequences of their actions, BP is hardly different from any other large corporation. They just had the misfortune of getting caught. They also have the misfortune of having a nitwit CEO, Tony Hayward, who has kvetched about wanting his life back and even said the oil coming ashore isn’t “their” oil. Do you see any other rigs hemorrhaging copious amounts out there, Tony? My favorite is his “food poisoning” angle. He’s blaming the illness of people tasked with skimming the oil off the water on a massive food poisoning epidemic. Ah, Tony, Tony, Tony. You are such a schmuck. Tony the Tool has remarked that the Gulf is such a big body of water, a little bit of oil won’t make a difference. Tell that to the struggling pelicans.
What a lovely day! My cat is projectile vomiting on the wall and is moving to the carpet. Oh yes, there it is, on the carpet. Next is the kitchen floor. Got it! Off to the livingroom. I can’t see him now but I can hear him in there, working away at a particularly stubborn furball. Yay! More work for me because I just love cleaning house.
Ever since I was unceremoniously dumped by my former employer eighteen months ago, I’ve been playing at the reluctant housewife role. The Boss, I’ll call him Booger, sat down earnestly one morning and said, we have to let you go. Times are tough and we aren’t making enough money. So sorry. Goodbye. Then he promptly went out and bought himself a plane. Do I still have hard feelings for Booger and his family? But, of course. They really didn’t need to give me the boot, at least not then. Right now things are going down the toilet pretty fast for them. Let me moderate my approbation. Who am I kidding? I’d do a back flip if I didn’t think I would rupture something.
During the past eighteen months, I’ve enjoyed applying for jobs, being rejected, working for minimum wage preparing tax returns. Nothing screams accuracy like a tax professional working for minimum wage. (Note: I prepared all tax returns fully-assed, not half-assed. Just in case one of my clients is reading this.) There’s a new practice in the workplace where they’ve decided to abandon all manners and propriety. It used to be when you applied for a job, if you were not chosen you would receive a phone call or a letter or at the very least an email. Today, because of the glut of applications for each job, employers simply pick the candidate and ignore all the applicants. You sit at home, waiting as weeks pass without a word and finally it dawns on you that perhaps they’ve filled the position. The first few times you might call them to verify this, but after that you never call.
I had intended to discuss Galarraga’s perfect game, but instead I chuntered on about myself. The umpire, Jim Joyce, has been oddly apologetic about his gaffe. I only say this because normally umpires stand by their calls as if the Word came from On High. It is an admirable trait, to acknowledge when one is wrong. Likewise, Armando Galarraga has been nothing but magnanimous. He was asked about the call after the game and he smiled. In that smile I could see a great ball player with a career ahead of him spanning many years. He will be remembered for the way he held himself above the fray during this incident.
The rest of us can debate the pros and cons of giving Galarraga the Perfect Game, but he has already won. He knows that baseball is a game of patience (especially if you play for Detroit) and the days are hot and the nights are long and still you throw the ball. You play baseball because you love the game. It’s not like other sports. When we were kids, my dad took us to games at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers were never having great seasons, but the fans still came to the games. If the Yankees began losing every single game, the fans would still go to the games. Your team is your team and you grow up with them and they are family.
Now that I’ve settled that, what shall we do about that oil spill?