The engineers are led by Hubert “Red” Flandro, who has wrangled uncontrollable eruptions all around the world for nearly a half century. But capping the Gibson gusher presents an unprecedented difficulty.
“That BP deal down in the Gulf is just a piece of cake compared to what’s happening with Mad Mel. I thought the toughest job I’d ever have to face was a couple years ago when we were called in to put the kibosh on a series of Bill Clinton meltdowns during his wife’s presidential campaign. With ol’ Bubba we initially tried to adjust his thermostat—the cooler that cat Obama got, the hotter Bubba got.
“We continued with time-tested scientific procedures like icing him down or isolating him in a meat locker. Finally, we just stuck a heavy-duty sock with a reinforced heel into his mouth. That did the trick. Somehow I don’t think the sock in mouth maneuver will work with Mad Mel.”
One of the difficulties faced by Flandro and his men is Mr. Gibson’s imminent departure for rehab, the escape of choice for all troubled celebrities. “F You” starlet Lindsay Lohan hoped to avoid jail time for probation violations by checking into rehab, and “F Me” golf champ Tiger Woods famously decamped for rehab to avoid the temptations from clamorous pancake-house servers.
“It makes the job a little bit harder, but in the long run, we’ll be able to track him down,” Flandro says. “Just as a snail lays down a trail of slime, the balding former movie star leaves a variety of vile substances in his wake—congealed clumps of ugly threats and a viscous muck of epithets. If you’ve heard the tapes you know what I’m talking about, the alphabet stew of c-words, f-words, and n-words directed at his estranged wife Oksana.”
Cleanup crews are complaining that the work of containing Mel’s spillage is making them sick, and they fear for the long-term consequences of their containment efforts. One visibly nauseated worker said just listening to Mel’s rants made her lose her lunch, a soup and salad combo. “There’s a distinct stench. You wouldn’t want your own grandma to be downwind of Mel.”
Once Flandro and his team of experienced technicians locate Mad Mel, they have a variety of options for stopping the toxic flow. If he happens to be out in the open—say, in the exercise yard of the rehab clinic—they will attempt to lower a steel “milk carton” over his body, thus trapping the less-than-pleasant emanations from whatever bodily orifice he happens to be making use of at the time.
The milk-carton solution is open to objections that it is inhumane, in that the subject is trapped in his own effluent. Flandro begs to differ. “Ever heard of a taste of your own medicine? Or being hoist on your own petard? Or dying by the sword if you live by the sword? I think you get my drift, amigo.”
When asked about the “top-kill” strategy for plugging spewing holes, Flandro shook his head and produced a wry smile. “Well, as you know, the so-called ‘top kill’ involves pumping cement into the gushing hole. The problem is pumping something into the hole with enough pressure to plug it up. If you’ve heard Mel on those tapes, you will no doubt have noticed the scary grunting exhalations that accompany the threats to bang Oksana in the side of the head or bury her in the rose garden. We’ve come to the conclusion that anything we try to force down his vomit hole would be met with countervailing gaseous emissions from his raging inner organs.”
Flandro is of the opinion that the surest way to permanently stop Mad Mel’s spewing is to perform a procedure analogous to drilling a relief well. “It’s kinda like siphoning off the accumulated evil shit that has taken residence in Mel’s gastro-intestinal tract and seeped into the very interstices of his being.
“An enema or high colonic would, however, only be a stop-gap measure. We would have to hook him up to a machine that cleanses around the clock, with the added virtue of keeping him on a fairly short tether.”