Stan Laurel would say that to Oliver Hardy when they had blundered into something totally ridiculous and the audience would roar with laughter.
But “It’s a fine mess you’ve gotten us into, BP” draws no laughter.
The massive oil spill in the gulf that is now coming ashore along the coast of Louisiana and pushing into the marshland is a catastrophe that just seems to be getting worse and worse. It has shut down the fishing industry all along the coastal area, and it is now killing birds and other wildlife.
Meanwhile, BP and the federal government appear to be spending too much time talking and thinking and talking and thinking about what to do in between futile attempts to stop the leak. While they are doing that, any other efforts to clean up the oil or plug the leak — that continues to pour thousands of gallons of oil into the water a day — are put on hold.
A fisherman from Louisina said on the evening news last night that there are boats equipped for cleanup that are just sitting out there.
Last week Kevin Costner offered the use of equipment he developed for his film Waterworld that can clean the water of oil.
People who have ideas on how to stop the leak or clean up the oil, call BP with their ideas and they can’t talk to anyone in charge. They have to go through a process of paperwork that can take several days.
Okay, I understand that there needs to be a chain of command, that people need to respect certain boundaries when it comes to the impulse to jump into a mess and try to do something. But in this case, I think a month is long enough for the chain of command to do its thing. And it hasn’t.
So my suggestion is that anyone with an idea of how to clean up this mess and stop the leak should just, well, do it. Go down to the gulf with your idea and your equipment and get to work. After all, the ocean waters do not belong to BP or to the federal government.