Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour Declares Tritium Cleanup Complete

Dear God,

Just weeks after his most recent meeting with Hamid Karzai, president of one or another of those "stan" countries, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, one of the most successful imitators of senior commanders in the Taliban movement, has declared the cleanup of tritium at Vermont Yankee complete.

"You have trusted me," Mullah Mansour declared. "Now you can pay me."

The NATO plane that brought Mullah Mansour to Vernon has now helped him flee back to the hills, carrying him along with weighty bundles of Entergy shareholder cash, and leaving David O'Brien of the Department of Public Service sad that long-promised peace talks with the New England Coalition never quite happened. However, J. Wayne Leonard, CEO of Entergy, expressed his gratitude that contaminated groundwater, now removed from Vernon, would be shipped to Tennessee, where public education has been in crisis for so long that the citizenry is unusually easy to push around. Stepping away from an indoor pool party at his mansion, Mr. Leonard watched with loving eyes as Mullah Mansour's plane passed over Louisiana. "Who was that masked man?" he wondered fondly.

In the meanwhile, Arnie Gundersen tried frantically to explain to the media that the tritium problem was not, in fact solved. The extraction wells were still pumping contaminated water when they were shut down. They were not shut down because the tritium issue was "over," but rather because Entergy did not want to pay to winterize the wells. Had they paid for the wells, Gundersen explained, they could not have afforded to pay Mullah Monsour.

Only moments after Gundersen started his b*tching and moaning, a grainy, ill-shot video was received by news stations across America. An unidentified but very tall actor attached to a styrofoam dialysis machine clearly said, "We will never tire of the tritium fight. J. Wayne is great. So is God."



Friday, November 5, 2010

Meg Whitman Puts Vermont Yankee on eBay.

Dear God,

After spending $160 million of her own fortune on a losing campaign to be the governor of California, former eBay executive Meg Whitman is hard pressed for money, and has agreed to work for commission in her attempt to sell Vermont Yankee on eBay.

Of course, it's up to me to prepare the press release announcing the unconventional arrangement. I asked Ms. Whitman what the press release might best say about any potential buyer's responsibility regarding clean up of this horrible environmental mess we've created. As you know, we've underfunded the decommissioning fund by about half a billion dollars.

"Half a billion will be peanuts to the right buyer," Ms. Whitman assured me, as she paid an extra dollar to have the words "Fire Sale" bolded in the listing's title.

You know me. I'm not easily convinced by a dollar spent here or there, nor am I easily deflected in my dogged attempts to get hard answers even to the most difficult questions. Frankly, I knew what sorts of things my fellow employees would want to know. I also knew about the concerns the general public would have. So I emailed Ms. Whitman.

She only had a moment or so to spare when answering my email, what with her urgent need to search-engine-optimize the listing for terms like "everything must go" and "be the first on your block" and "state has new direction; we chose to go 'another way'." So I asked just a few quick questions. What changes did she anticipate an eBay buyer would implement at Vermont Yankee? Better safety monitoring? Less toxic runoff? More credible reporting? More reasonable shifts? Help for the employees' substance abuse problems? Would jobs be protected? For how long?

"Just get new stationary," she emailed me in return, "'cause if I learned one thing at eBay it's that image is eVerything."

At first I thought she was nuts. Which wasn't surprising. Hey, we're all feeling a little bonkers around here nowadays. Since the election it seems to me and my friends in the control room like the world is crashing around our ears. The river seems to whisper to us about the revenge of the fish. And we haven't even been to a picnic lately.

Like I said, I was just a hair flabbergasted that all Meg Whitman could think of to say to me in response to my politely-phrased, specific, and pressing questions was "image is eVerything." I can't tell you how long I stared at her email this morning, feeling increasingly disappointed and despairing.

But you know, Lord? The more I read her email, the more I think I got what she meant. Image just may be eVerything. I mean, sEriously.


fAke rOb
pR gUy
vErmont yAnkee (and maybe someday, if I'm lucky, eBay)