Sunken Oil Tanker Will Be Habitat For Marine Life, Shell Executives Say With Straight Face

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Vol 38 Issue 39

Man In Break Room Can Still Hear Time Clock Ticking Loudly

LA GRANDE, OR—Roundy's Food Store stocker Jim Creighton felt ominously watched over by an employee time clock Tuesday as, at exactly 12:13 a.m., it noisily "clunked" over to the second-to-last minute of Creighton's 15-minute break. "Well, two minutes to go," Creighton mumbled grimly to himself, attempting to savor the final precious scraps of leisure time doled out to him by his employer. "Maybe I should grab another Pepsi." Creighton then sighed and stared at the coffee machine for the next 111 seconds.

Linebacker Faces Suspension For Genocide

MINNEAPOLIS—In the latest legal complication for an NFL player, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Antwone Evans may receive a fine and possibly even a suspension for his role in the mass slaughter of the Lithuanian people in a Sunday pogrom. "In cruelly rounding up and exterminating more than three million Lithuanian men, women, and children, Evans seriously violated the behavior standard to which we hold all our employees," said NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "We are currently deliberating on whether to suspend him pending the verdict of his U.N. tribunal."

Civil War Historians Posit 'You Had To Be There' Theory

ATLANTA—After years of conflicting approaches to interpreting the Civil War, a coalition of historians on Tuesday posited the non-specific theory that "you had to be there" to fully understand the complexities of the war. "It's not just a matter of 'Were the Southern forces as confident and dedicated as their Northern counterparts?' or 'Was Gettysburg the turning point?'" said conference chairman Shelby Foote. "The whole gist of the war is just hard to really get unless, you know, you were there and saw it happen." The coalition also advanced a theory that the Great Migration, wherein one million African-Americans moved to northern cities between 1915 and 1920, was "a black thing."

CEO Would Trade 5 Percent Of Stock Options For 10 Percent More Time With His Kids

HARTFORD, CT—Feeling sentimental Tuesday, Allied Plastics CEO Jonathan Mavre said he would gladly sacrifice a significant portion of his liquid assets for increased quality time with his children. "If I had the chance, I would give anything, even 5 percent of my ADM options, for an extra afternoon a week with Jacob and Lauren," Mavre said. "Of course, I'd be smarter to hedge by splitting the loss between ADM and Pepsico."

Prison Warden Appears On Leno With Some Of His Favorite Prisoners

BURBANK, CA—San Quentin State Prison warden Ron Ditmeier wowed Monday's Tonight Show audience by displaying some of his favorite prisoners. "Rufus here is what we call a Throat-Slashing Double-Lifer," Ditmeier said while showing off an inmate to host Jay Leno. "These distinctive markings mean he's a hardcore in the Crips." The educational segment provoked peals of laughter when an Encino Wife-Beater urinated on Leno's shoulder and stabbed him in the eye with a pen.

Ask A Third Party Candidate

Edgar Mayo Jr. is a syndicated columnist whose weekly advice column, Ask A Third Party Candidate, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.

Obesity On The Rise

The National Center for Health Statistics recently announced that 64.5 percent of American adults are overweight or obese. What do you think?
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Sunken Oil Tanker Will Be Habitat For Marine Life, Shell Executives Say With Straight Face

HOUSTON, TX—The 1,080-foot, 300,000-ton oil tanker Shell Global Explorer, which sank off the coast of Newfoundland last month, will provide a welcome habitat for many diverse species of endangered marine life, Shell Oil Company executives announced with a straight face Tuesday.

The new habitat, moments before sinking.

"In its new resting place, far beneath the surface of the North Atlantic, the Global Explorer is host to countless fish and an infinite variety of marine vegetation," a press release from Shell read without a trace of irony. "A ship that once helped run life above the waves now houses life beneath them."

The reading of the press release preceded public statements from Shell executives.

"We in the petroleum industry have long believed that we have a responsibility to protect and conserve the environment in our daily business operations," said Shell CEO Steven L. Miller to reporters in the face of all available evidence. "We view this commitment to projects that will conserve and protect the marine ecosystem as an important investment in our future."

"At Shell, we're proud to provide a niche for the struggling denizens of our oceans," said Shell vice-president of international shipping Dennis Gallsworthy, who apparently intended his words to be taken seriously.

Somehow maintaining his composure despite being able to hear the things he was saying, Gallsworthy added, "We have a strong commitment to protecting and preserving sea life."

On Sept. 27, radio messages from the tanker indicated it had suffered extensive damage to its hull following an explosion, which pierced its overloaded crude-oil tanks. By the time the ship slid to the bottom, Shell public-relations officials were touting its potential as an artificial habitat, often while looking straight into reporters' eyes.

"The many species of fish native to Newfoundland's Grand Banks have in recent years increasingly struggled to find feeding and breeding grounds," Miller said, as if Shell were deeply concerned with these circumstances and not, in fact, partially at fault for them. "We must take all available steps to help reestablish these species in their native waters."

Hoping to both deflect blame and take an opportunity for self-promotion, Miller took aim at the commercial fishing industry without so much as a smirk.

"The Global Explorer's new resting place will provide shelter for countless threatened, often over-harvested fish," he said. "At Shell, we're proud to use our multibillion-dollar, globe-spanning resources to aid a worthy environmental cause."

Not all press reaction has been positive.

"Once again, Shell has demonstrated its unique brand of environmentalism, this time to the life of our planet's oceans," Mother Jones environmental reporter Neil Taylor said Tuesday. "The sunken hulk of the Shell Global Explorer, which hauled billions of gallons of crude oil during its operational lifetime, will have an impact on aquatic life for hundreds of years to come."

Shell reacted quickly to these and other statements, working with mainstream news sources to tell its side of the story.

"Once again, Shell has demonstrated its unique brand of environmentalism, this time to the life of our planet's oceans," read a full-page ad from Shell that will appear in Wednesday's edition of USA Today. "The sunken hulk of the Shell Global Explorer, which hauled billions of gallons of crude oil during its operational lifetime, will have an impact on aquatic life for hundreds of years to come."

"We're proud of what we've done for the planet," Miller said, possibly truthfully. "And believe me when I say that at Shell, we're committed to changing our world forever."

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