RUSH: Adrian in Lower Manhattan, I’m glad you called. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Love your show. You talked about the oil spills today, and I remembered when I first listened to you, I think it was over 25 years ago, at that time you reported a story in Alaska where this otter was in an oil spill and it had oil all over its fur. So they took it in, they cleaned it up, they called in all sorts of consultants and college professors on ecology to feed it and everything. They cleaned it up. This was all over the papers then.
They had live TV cameras rolling and they went out on this long pier and they were gonna release the otter back into the ocean. So the cameras are rolling, the high school band is playing and the otter swims out, everybody’s cheering, and then along comes a killer whale and just gobbles it up. And I even remember what you said at the time, you said, “Hey, this killer whale is swimming around and sees the otter, ‘Oh, here’s lunch, and somebody’s even cleaned it for me.'”
CALLER: I laughed so hard, I thought it was wonderful at the time.
RUSH: It’s amazing, powerful stories that people never forget. That was the Exxon Valdez, Prince William Sound up in Alaska. Joseph, what was that captain’s name, the guy that got drunk, Joseph Stigwood or some such thing. Anyway, the captain of the Valdez got drunk and it ran aground and the oil spilled out.
And it was the same thing, there were people panicking and they sent people down there with Dawn dishwasher detergent and paper towels. They were cleaning off birds and they were cleaning off rocks. You could actually see them doing this. The media was out there and everybody was just distressed and panicked, the ecological damage, how horrible it was, and they wanted to put this captain of the Exxon Valdez in jail because he was piloting the boat drunk.
Joseph Haverwood, Shaverwood, Joseph something. (interruption) That’s right, Joseph Hazelwood. So what happened was there was an otter. Folks, otters, when they’re in the water are the cutest little things. They’re rodents for the most part. They’re just giant rats, but they’re like squirrels, a tree rat. They look cute as opposed to rats. And the otters are in the water and their two little paws are sticking out and they’re looking up. Everyone loves ’em and they found one just soaked in Exxon Valdez oil.
So they rescued the thing and they took it away to clean it up, and they spent $80,000 cleaning up this one otter. The point of the story was the insurance company had to pay that money, $80,000 to clean up. And the day came where it was a successful project, they’re gonna release the otter back into Prince William Sound. And it was a momentous day for the community. It represented overcoming this ecological disaster. It meant saving an animal from the evil clutches of humanity behaving as it does, destroying the planet every day.
They let kids out of school. They had like high school bands and stuff. It was like a parade and they had the little otter in a cage and they’re rolling it down the street, eventually down to the pier or the dock where they’re gonna release it to great fanfare. And the mayor, everybody is making speeches about what a wonderful thing that had been done here in saving the otter and cleaning it up, it was a symbol of what we could all do when working together, when we can put everything aside and come together and kumbaya and work for one idealistic goal, to save animals from the evils of oil spills.
And they let the kids out of school, first graders, second graders, they’re so happy ’cause the otter is so cute. They even named the otter, I forget what the name was. It came time to release it, they lowered the cage, and after the cage was officially offshore, they opened the door to the cage and the otter swam out and it was sitting there like otters do on its back with its two front paws up looking cute as hell. And before anybody knew what had happened a giant orca came out of nowhere and swallowed the thing, just ate it like sushi, it was otter sushi.
And the music kind of didn’t stop immediately, kind of like when you had a record at 33 or 45 and you turned the power off, it slows down. And the kids were looking, “Mommy, Mommy, what happened? What happened?” And it was nature. It was nature. Many people have tried to deny that the story happened since then, but we know that it did because the insurance company complained about the loss, $80,000 vanished in one swallow.