I've looked at animations and read through descriptions of the BP oil well jamming procedure now underway, injecting "heavy mud" into the feed pipes - a process known as "top kill". I understand the simplest explanations ("It's like trying to intentionally block up a toilet") and am baffled by much of the rest.
I've heard that if this doesn't work, the next step is to try to pack the leak with chunky debris - a "junk shot". I certainly get that. I know all about junk, having worked to accumulate tons of it through most of my life. In fact, I'm excited by the idea because it creates a rare opportunity in our throw-away culture - the chance to dispose of some useless things heroically.
To seal an oil well underwater
You will need some heavy fodder.
Start with thick and gooey mud
Then pack it full of extra crud.
Softballs, chunks of worn out tire
Spools of unused speaker wire.
Costume jewelry, plated gold
and all the Chryslers still unsold.
Every bit of spare debris
should come, enthusiastically
from anyone who rides in cars.
For this calamity is ours.
DVD's you didn't watch.
Old tapes - video and Scotch.
Carpet scraps and mailing tubes.
Open board games. Rubik's Cubes.
Empty out your basement clutter
Every golf club. That damn putter.
Piles of Christmas cookie tins.
We'll plug the gusher with our sins.
From physicians - rubber hammers
Plus their awkward beside manners.
From the stoners - bongs and joints
And from spin doctors? Talking points.
And still the void cries out for more.
We've never gone this deep before.
So to the hungry wellhead bring
Our excess wretched everything!
Lawyers! Give us spite and greed!
(you've got extra, guaranteed).
TV stars could spare some vanity.
NASCAR drivers, their insanity.
Commentators? All your scorn!
Webmasters! Unload your porn.
From farmers take redundant crops
From Lady Gaga? Unused props.
Gather up each proud and smug
opinion for this oily plug.
Can written nonsense trigger clogs?
Try stupid, pointless rhyming blogs.
Then pile it all into the sea
And with the profits from BP
We'll force this cocktail down the tube
To plug the hole that leaks the crude.
What sort of useless debris could you contribute to the cause?