Greed, give me everything that I need.
— Ice Cube
I’ve figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
I think I’ve come up with the perfect job that will allow me to maximize my admittedly limited skills and still make a boatload of money. It hit me when I was riding by the local gas-and-sip a couple of weeks ago and saw that gasoline had gone up 20 cents a gallon overnight.
I want to be a PR agent for Big Oil.
Now you might be one of those not-so-forward-thinking people who assumes the Exxon Mobils and BPs and Chevrons of the world don’t need PR, that since they have such good chums in Washington who show gratitude for their “campaign contributions” by passing laws that assure they can get away with jacking up fuel prices by 20 cents a gallon overnight, they’re untouchable even in their, shall we say, least benevolent moments.
Heck, if that’s your line of thinking, you probably believe that the American people are not the kind of sheep that will meekly shell out two-thirds of their weekly paycheck to finance a fillup of their vehicle without so much as a whimper and won’t keep sending these Pals of Petroleum and Koch Kommandos to Washington to pass ever more laws that will secure ever more money for the kindly folks in the oil trade.
That’s the kind of thinking that’s counter-intuitive to what we Big Oil PR folks know to be the truth.
See, Shell and Sunoco and their right-thinking companions are not in the oil game to make money. They rape your land, pollute your air and artificially jack up fuel prices to make sure that the people who matter — the folks who drive 6-mile-a-gallon Hummers and flashy 4-mile-a-gallon sports cars — have ample fuel to keep those babies running. It’s almost a charity thing.
You should be honored to be a contributor to the industry that keeps millionaires and billionaires happy.
As I prepare for my new career, I’ve already put together a portfolio that I think will secure my position with one of the charitable organizations that dispenses petroleum products. It’s still a little rough, but I’ll polish it up before sending it in with my resume. Some of the highlights:
— A cold front moving through Eastern Siberia is the kind of thing meteorologists believe could lead to a weather event along the U.S. Pacific Coast two months from now. As a preventative measure, Fletcher Oil (I believe putting my name in there is going to help me stand out with oil company philanthropists. Smart, huh?) has decided to induce an uptick in gasoline prices by a scant 42 cents a gallon for the next quarter. Fletcher Oil is constantly looking ahead so that when you’re driving to your summer home, you won’t get left behind. (Hmmm?)
— We at Fletcher Oil know that the teensy little price increase we’ve had to implement to make sure important people’s G6s stay wheels off the ground is an inconvenience for you poor people who work for minimum wages, have trouble finding regular work or are journalists. We feel your pain. But we encourage you to put aside selfish thoughts of yourself and consider how your contributions help keep the Beemers, Mercedeses, Porsches and Lexuses of valuable executives rolling.
— Let’s be real for a moment, Americans. Who among us has not at times been involved in annoying little accidents, things that temporarily set us back and force us to clean up our messes? With small kids around the house, I know I’m constantly in fix-it mode. As you watch the crude oil from our Atlantic pipeline project wash onto the coastline from Florida to Maine, forget the left-leaning propaganda about all the wildlife that is being wiped out perhaps forever. Just remember this morning when you, in your rush to get ready for work, knocked over your cup of coffee onto your laptop. What a mess that was! We’ll get this thing plugged up somewhere down the line, but until then, just imagine your friends at Fletcher Oil offering a great big “Oops! Our bad.”
I’m working on a campaign about how fracking byproducts seeping into drinking water is actually healthy and how leaking pipelines that contaminate aquifers supplying water to entire regions of the country teaches self-reliance and that good old American can-do spirit, but I’m having a little trouble with those. Oh well, one of the things we PR folks know: If it’s a hard enough sell, you just give a few more politicians and a few more judges a few more briefcases filled with a few million more dollar bills, and the problem seems to go away.
Hey, BP, I’ll be waiting for your call.
Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.