MAYFLOWER, Ark. — As a sign of sympathy and goodwill, industrial giant ExxonMobil has apologized for a ruptured pipeline that leaked tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the town of Mayflower, Arkansas. ExxonMobil has also promised to construct an underground haven to house over twenty families who were displaced by the spill.
Speaking to the affected families outside a large dirt pit, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson announced, “We’ve got an excavator and a tarp, and we should be done by this afternoon. If one of you wants to run into town and grab some batteries and hot dogs and stuff, we’ll cover you for parking.”
“This should be a fun couple of weeks,” Tillerson added, noting that once they “pull out the tree roots and stuff, [they would] probably put a rug down there.”
The McConnell family, who took Tillerson up on his offer, has yet to return to the pit. They are reportedly taking advantage of ExxonMobil’s kindness by choosing to sleep in their car until further notice.
“We’re really sorry about your homes and lives and all your stuff,” Tillerson told the remaining families before rolling up his window and asking his chauffeur to get going. “Really. We like—we feel really bad. I guess insurance covers that? I don’t know how that works.”
Despite such acts of kindness, ExxonMobil refuses to help pay for cleanup, arguing that the thick, foul-smelling tar is not really oil yet, and is actually diluted bitumen, or “dilbit.” While oil companies are typically taxed eight cents per barrel to maintain a cleanup fund in the event of emergencies, dilbit — which is much more corrosive than typical crude oils — is exempt.
At press time, Tillerson was offering ducks in nearby Lake Conway hard candies and olive oil, saying, “Sorry about your feathers and stuff. Does olive oil help? I don’t know how that works.”