“Carl,” Red Snapper, Gulf of Mexico
OFF NEW ORLEANS, LA. ( – First off, we appreciate your efforts to go after BP, and I know you humans are all excited about this $4.5 billion “penalty,” whatever that is, but speaking for the main victims in all this, I think we’ll decline the money and just eat the BP executives whole, if it’s all the same to you.

"Carl." (Not his real name)

It’s not that we’re ungrateful. I’m sure you meant well, and that in your world, this ‘penalty’ concerning bits of paper is quite painful. But since, frankly, we suffered a good deal more than you, it seems like we should get to choose the punishment. And we choose eating.
Oddly enough, and not to nit-pick, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the settlement. We’re not sure why, but maybe you lost perspective on who really took it on the chin here? I mean, the Deepwater Horizon spill killed, what, almost a dozen humans? But in our world, we lost millions of family members. Snapper, porgies, eels, phytoplanktons. I’m just sayin’. Oh, and we can’t help but notice we suddenly have all these shrimp with no eyes, crustaceans with limbs falling off, fish that limp. Well, no, they don’t really limp. They swim funny. I’m just trying to make this relatable.
Oh, and yeah, I heard that a couple of supervisors were going to be tried for “manslaughter.” But that’s a joke, right? ‘Cause if I remember correctly, and it’s difficult because of the hypoxia, a better term would have been fishslaughter. Or birdslaughter. Or marinelifeslaughter. Actually, there are a lot of terms you probably should have thought of first.
Unless I’m wrong and it really was just as bad for humans. Maybe you suffered from hypoxia, too? You know, that’s when your environment is deprived of oxygen and your body switches to anaerobic respiration to try to produce adenosine triphosphate by using substrate-level phosphorylation. But since, obviously, that reduces ATP yield, when it fails you tend to asphyxiate and float to the surface, where your body is picked apart by gulls.
Is that what happened to you guys? Were you sitting in your houses and restaurants and office supply stores when suddenly there was an explosion and oil came pouring out everywhere, and before you could even move, you were up to your gills in sludge and you drowned? I mean, since you guys charged BP with manslaughter, and not fishslaughter, I guess that’s what happened.
It didn’t? Oh. Well, that’s confusing then.
I mean, c’mon people. Maybe we look kind of strange and make funny faces when we breathe and swim in groups right into fishnets and bite things on hooks, but we’re not stupid.
And I’m not saying it wasn’t a tragedy for humans. It was. But there are levels of magnitude.
It’s like BP is driving down the road, probably drunk, in this big ol’ Hummer, and it crashes into something. Now a passenger in BP’s car – we’ll say that represents some of their employees — dies, and that’s bad. And a few passengers in the back – we’ll say that’s folks who live and work around the Gulf – are injured. That’s also bad. But the thing is, what the Hummer crashed into was a school. The size of Kansas. And everyone in it died. And that’s us. See?
So maybe now you understand why this $4.5 billion, and whatever other non-edible penalties you add to it later, don’t really do it for us. Think of it as a trust thing. What’s that old Cold War phrase? Trust and verify? I mean, we all heard Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive, say the company, “deeply regrets the tragic loss of life.” That’s nice, but since his people kind of killed about 220 of my siblings in 10 seconds, I personally find it hard to trust the guy. And not living in his neighborhood, we won’t be able to verify that he “deeply regrets” it. Whereas if we eat him, we’ll know he deeply regrets it. We can verify that. By the look on his face. And afterwards, by the look on his not-face.
OK, I’m sensing you find that harsh, but remember, ours is a harsh world. Eat or be eaten. That’s pretty much our day. And now you know what would make our day. So c’mon, let’s serve up some justice. I just hope they’re not oily.
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