“It really couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” a morose Keystone pipeline explained to his relative, Kinder Morgan, when the two met for a beer in Edmonton late yesterday at the culmination of a truly regrettable day in the life of a pipeline.
“I really felt like I’d hit a sweet spot the last few months,” Keystone continued. Kinder listened, avoiding eye contact with his troubled friend. “Y’know, getting my quotas in on time, not getting caught up in any of those forest fires, not making a ruckus, just keeping my pipe down and gettin’ er done, you feel me?”
Mr. Morgan motioned to the bartender for another round of Guinesses, and two shots of tarsands.
“So what happened?” The mountain pipeline asked his flatlands cousin. “I mean it’s a heluva mess KP. Doesn’t look good, doesn’t look good at all.”
“Bro, I know. And I’d appreciate it if you would put some gloves on before you just starting smashing me in the rivets eh? Jeez Louise. Cut a pipe some slack wouldja?”
After a moment of strained silence between the two, Keystone went on, eyes firmly fixed on the bar as he approached the graphic, awful ending to his story.
“So, just as all eyes are on me for this frickin’ performance review, the one they’re using to decide whether or not to promote me up to XL, that’s when I start to feel a weakness. Down below, down there, y’know? And this ominous rumbling starts to emerge from my guts. Really weird sounds. And the pressure starts to build. And build. And build. And before you know it….” here the serpentine length of 4,708 kilometres of connected steel tube paused, and found he couldn’t continue.
“You shat yourself.” Kinder Morgan finished matter-of-factly for his cousin. “Not like everyone doesn’t know. No sense beating around the permanently contaminated bush. You accidentally dumped 795,000 litres of unrefined crude out into the otherwise clean grasslands of South Dakota.”
Keystone just nods numbly.
“And now, more than worried about the fact you leaked toxic liquid in a quantity so large it’s being measured in tons, you’re concerned you aren’t going to get your promotion.”
At this, the offending pipeline looks up.
“You think I still have a chance?”
Kinder just shakes his eastern terminus slowly in disbelief.
“No KP. No, I don’t think you still have a chance. Jeezus pipe, get a wrench on yourself. Wake up and smell the renewables brother. Our days are numbered.” The mountain pipeline stands up at this point to take his leave, smacking some oil-sodden twenties down on the counter to cover the tab before finishing his thought.
“And let me tell you something. That number gets a lot smaller every time you shit yourself.”