Don’t Play With Tar Balls (Or Should You?)

Stephen Blackwell :: Wednesday, June 9th, 2010 7:00 pm

When a waiter tells me that my plate is hot and I shouldn’t touch it, I immediately scoff at the warning, and proceed to find out for myself that the plate is very hot. Yea, it’s pretty stupid, but you can’t tell a man to not do something that seems relatively harmless and expect them to listen.

Now the government is trying to tell us that we can’t play with the tarballs that are popping up along the Florida panhandle. Come on guys! Apparently these tarballs have started to blanket the west coast of Florida, and, boy, do they sound like a fun biohazard to play with.

In the past couple months there have been tens of millions of gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. As if that part of the country hasn’t gotten shit on enough in the past couple years. The crude oil spilling endlessly into our waters is one thing, but when it leads to tarballs, we organize and get serious.

When walking along the formerly pristine Florida beaches this summer don’t use tar balls as a substitute for a wiffleball. And while the conditions sound temping for a toxic tarball fight, our esteemed government urges us to use restraint. If you’re on vacation don’t take tar balls home as a souvenir. Dog lovers out there — don’t let Buddy or Max chew on the tarballs. It doesn’t taste like bacon. They look like shit, though. And we all know how much dogs love to eat shit.

Associated Press medical writer Mike Stobbe reports that swallowing some crude oil and having close contact with tar balls isn’t the end of the world. It’ll probably just induce vomiting and some diarrhea.

Also don’t confuse crude oil with your SPF 30 because it’ll most likely result in reddened, swollen, and burnt skin. But feel free to toss one on your buddy’s back or face if he falls asleep. Or passes out drunk. Remember when you were tempted to draw a cock on your blacked-out friend’s face? Now you can just toss a tar ball on there instead.

In the event you thought it was smart to jump headfirst into that suspicious-looking water only to find out you just took a dip in BP’s finest oil, don’t fret. Just clean your self off and stay away from kerosene and gasoline and matches. However, if you see a particularly dense oil thick, toss some children in. Make sure they’re just covered in it. Look, they look just like pelicans.

It used to be the Mexican dude wheeling the ice cream cart blasting salsa music, but now tar balls are officially the most polarizing force on the beach. Love them or hate them, they’re hear to stay. How to get rid of them? Not sure, though I think we can ask Sarah Palin for advice.