Also, sand castles much sturdier with tar, claim the optimistic.
HOUGH MOST reactions to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and resulting torrent of crude polluting the Gulf waters could be characterized as extremely negative, some optimists are looking on the bright side of the man-made disaster.
Many of these cheerful types say that tar balls washing ashore are not hampering their romantic beach strolls one bit. Jenny Richards of Pensacola, Florida, thinks the black balls of crude lining the shore are, "kind of cute, like little pets you want to give names to, like 'blobbie,' or 'blackie.'"
"That's adorable, honey," said Jenny's husband Todd, hugging his wife.
The Richards have also discovered the tar balls' usefulness in constructing sand castles. Todd Richards claims that tar and sand "produce a far superior construction material to mere sand and water."
Pointing to his most recent creation, a Gothic structure with multiple spires and a flying buttress, Todd beamed with pride.
"This baby will last a good year or more. Take a picture, honey, for all our Facebook friends!"
"Okey, dokey, sweetheart!"
For many, the more tragic toll of the Gulf spill is upon marine wildlife, such as the seabirds and dolphins found dead on shorelines nearest the spill site. But optimists Betty and Jerry Belton see it quite differently.
"The way we look at it is, if you can't say something positive about an oil rig explosion and massive resulting spill of raw crude, don't say anything at all!" said Betty.
"Well, honey, the dolphins aren't really saying much, since they're pretty much dead and all," said Jerry, beaming at his wife. "Or they're pulling off a darned good imitation!"
"That's true, sweetie," giggled Betty. "Isn't he the smart one? You smarty pants! Anyways," continued Betty, "we just have our picnics a little further from the shore than we used to. It's safer for the kids! And then at night Jerry here lights one of the dolphins and it burns for hours! Really keeps the sand flies away, let me tell you!"
"It's better than that Avon stuff, that's for sure!" confirmed Jerry.
"Oh, honey, you just don't like putting on the women's lotion! He's such a real man, aren't you, you big old lug!"
"Me Tarzan, you Betty!!"
Optimists are also taking the sunnier view of the oil clean-up costs in time and money.
"I think a few bottles of that nice Dawn dishwashing liquid and some fun charity car washes around the country should do the trick, don'tcha think Todd, honey?" Jenny Richards estimated. "Dawn gets grease off all the ducks and what not, I've seen it on the T.V.!"
"Yep, that and your modern technology and we'll be clean as a whistle in no time," confirmed Jenny's husband, Todd. "But here's a burning question for you: Who's up for a dolphin bonfire and marshmallow roast?!!"
© 5.18.10 Kate Heidel