Tony Hayward’s Yacht Rock, or, Everybody Look At Me ‘Cause I’m Sailing On A Boat

It may be hard to believe, but this charismatic firecracker is actually pretty lousy at public relations.

GateHouse— Reader(s) may be shocked to learn this, but I have never been CEO of a major company, at least as far as the federal government is concerned (and if any of those vultures are reading, let me reiterate my assertion that VrabelCorp LLC is strictly a Bangladeshi music-teaching non-profit with absolutely zero ties to the pirated-DVD market, and I don’t even know why you’re looking at me like that).

While we’re on the subject I’ve never been the CEO of a small company, or a mid-sized company; frankly, whenever I end up accidentally in charge of something, that thing basically has about 25 minutes left before it becomes a smoldering crater in the dirt.

And yet even if I were, say, dealing in bootlegs of “Marmaduke” that originated in the Eastern markets I’d still remain Jean-Luc Picard compared to Tony Hayward, the quote-fingers CEO of BP, which has poured what appears to be Magic Shell all over America’s birds in the past few months via a plucky little exploded well that just WILL NOT STOP GURSHING OIL INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO, no matter how not-hard they sort-of try things that will probably not work because they’ve never been tried because no one evidently planned for a well that WOULD NOT STOP GURSHING OIL INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO. On the one hand, they’ve sort of ingeniously created a Mobius Strip of convoluted and deeply deserved blame; on the other, they’ve made it so that shrimp in 2016 will cost about $42,000 a pound.

Luckily for those of us who write humor because it’s less time-intensive than hand-scrubbing pelicans with toothbrushes — which is less fun than it sounds like, even if the pelicans are wearing funny costumes — most of the people involved on the BP side of things here are … well, what’s the word for self-aware gaffe machines whose seeming every utterance is so forehead-slappingly disengaged that you cannot help but think wonder if they are perhaps from some division of the multinational oil conglomerate that also runs the carnival?

For instance, take the case of the charmingly oblivious Hayward, who told the Times of London that Americans were probably going to bother his company with loads of bogus insurance claims and memorably whimpered that he wanted “(his) life back,” setting off fury and outrage among those on the Gulf Coast who have human hearts, spent last weekend at a yacht race, because when he typed his name and “massive oil spill damage control” into the Unbelievable Metaphor Machine the first thing that came up was “crashing a burning, fully loaded container ship into a free fisherman’s benefit put on by manatees and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band,” and he didn’t want to be a total jerk, so instead he went to A YACHT RACE, because it was the wanker-est thing he could think of that didn’t involve tucking his polo into his khaki shorts, which I cannot imagine also didn’t happen.

Related, sort of

Anyway, Hayward, who, to be fair, was likely exhausted by his weeks of miserable failure, took a breather last Saturday to watch his 52-foot yacht, which cost $700,000 and bears the actual name of “Bob,” participate in a rich-person race off the Isle of Wight, which is in England, which the grad students in the audience may recognize as being nowhere remotely near the Gulf of Mexico. Upon learning this, a good number of people, and by that I mean those born with a soul, went a little nuts. (For their part, President Obama and Vice-President Biden chose to appeal to the searing rage of the nation by simply spending part of the weekend golfing, because no one in the world apparently realizes how they look to everyone else in the world.)
But BP spokespeople, of whom there are still a few, if you can believe it, said it was the first day off for Hayward since the explosion, which brings to mind a question: Let’s say, hypothetically, that a pump exploded in your basement, filling in with, just pulling a number out here, six feet of fetid, Cocoa Pebbles milk-colored water. Let’s also say that water was bubbling, smelled like a very elderly egg-based appetizer and was also rising at the rate of one foot per six hours. Let’s assume further that parts of that water was on fire, and your dogs were underwater, along with all of your food, everyone in your book club. Estimating conservatively, how many days off would you take to attend the symphony?

About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

10 responses to “Tony Hayward’s Yacht Rock, or, Everybody Look At Me ‘Cause I’m Sailing On A Boat

  • mindymilburn

    I know there was a message in there somewhere but you make me laugh too much in between that I forget to absorb the message. Oh to be in your head for just five minutes…


  • Robin

    But what if I reeeeealllly wanted to go to the symphony? Besides, I didn’t like my book club that well, and my dogs can swim, right? 🙂

    Great blog, as usual.


  • Thomas Stazyk

    Great song and post. I guess I’d head to the symphony if I didn’t think the basement was my problem and didn’t care about any of the stuff in it. I guess that pretty much sums up BPs view.


  • Meredith

    Well, first I would call my insurance company and tell them it’s not my fault because there can NEVER be a total failure of plumbing, and they should have known it was going to happen. Then I would probably throw garbage at it (making sure its the right size for my book club members to choke on), set another fire just to see what happens, call Dominos for a pizza, take photos of my dogs and then go upstairs and whine for a bit…before going to the symphony for 2 or 3 days. And then I would be baffled to come home to a heap of flaming stuff and wonder why my neighbors are mad because of some silly little thing called “property value”.

    Just a personal message to Mr. Hayward: Your first day off? You poor guy. Unemployment doesn’t give ANY days off…

    As per usual, fantastically funny post!


  • MLH

    Hilarious! Sadly, it is just so pathetic. A high school weld shop could have come up with something better than some of those “caps”. Seriously, we had NO contingency plan for this, after all these years. Go ahead and blame Obama but who do you think the jackass was that deregulated everything that has anything to do with science, health, environment, and food. Yep, the man who I want to see in a jail cell, Dick Cheney.
    Although I do want to get mad at CEO Tony, we are the hypocrites who continue to overindulge on the dirty energy and shrinking water supply, like it’s endless. Not that I don’t but at least I recognize it and try to make small changes. Seriously, things are a mess out there.
    Keep up the funny posts!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: