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Oil!

I have some very exciting news! Exposednipple has found a large pool of oil under Shalampax! Nobody knew it was there and geologists told us it was impossible for oil to have formed under our island’s rock structure, but there it is nonetheless. It wouldn’t be the first time that scientists were proven wrong, particularly scientists from Shalampax.

Without telling anyone, Exposednipple drilled his exploratory well through the floor of an unused room in the basement of Shalampax’s building. To protect his discovery from prying eyes and thieving hands he keeps the room sealed behind a solid steel door and with an unbreakable lock. No one other than Exposednipple has ever seen the current contents of that room.

We don’t yet have an estimate of the volume of the reserves of oil, but I have it directly from Exposednipple that it is huge. He says that, considering the maximum pumping speeds that can be achieved with the available technologies and the limited space for wellhead equipment, one might as well consider it to be infinite. According to him, there is enough oil to last a great many lifetimes and he is, naturally, concerned only with his lifetime. That’s just the sort of guy he is.

Many people were suspicious of Exposednipple’s claims of an oil find. They were convinced that there was no oil whatsoever under Shalampax. They believed that this must be some sort of scam, because that’s exactly what they would do if they thought of it first. They assumed that Exposednipple would soon be peddling expensive shares in his bogus oil company. But Exposednipple has proved the naysayers wrong. Totally.

Not expecting anyone to take his word for it, Exposednipple has already pumped 250 barrels of oil from his well. Right out of the ground, it is of a quality that does not require any refining for many uses. Thus, his oil will command a much higher price than oil from most other sources, especially compared particularly to “dirty” sources, such as the bitumen pulled from oil sands (also known as tar sands).

Exposednipple would have pumped more oil, but he ran out of empty barrels to store it in for shipment to customers. In addition, due to what he admits was negligence on his part, he damaged some of the pipe that he used to extract the oil. He is waiting for a shipment of more barrels and replacement pipe before resuming his oil well operations.

Further proving that this is a legitimate business, Exposednipple has no intention of selling shares in his company. His only interest is in selling the oil itself. And he has no qualms about allowing customers to test the oil to ensure it is indeed high quality oil before they pay for it1. Thus, Exposednipple has left himself with no means to perpetrate a scam.

Unlike some of the more backward, business-hostile countries elsewhere in the world, Shalampax does not require environmental reviews before undertaking any business activity. Besides, the drywall separating the oil-well room from the room containing our water purification equipment, combined with the chain-link fence that Exposednipple erected next to the inner side of the drywall to keep out thieves, is considered, by Exposednipple if no one else, to be adequate protection against an an oil spill contaminating our water supply.

Recognizing that profits drive human wealth and welfare, profit takes precedence over health and safety in this country. This, coupled with the lack of a need for an expensive environmental assessment, dramatically lowers the cost of drilling for oil in Shalampax compared to the costs in many other countries. Consequently, Exposednipple’s potential profits from his oil venture are higher here than they would be anywhere else.

By precedence, statute, and a lack of interest in finding an alternative, Shalampax determines resource ownership using a Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers rule. As a result, Exposednipple will keep all of the profits for himself.

Some people have suggested that, because the oil was found under a common area of Shalampax’s building and common areas are jointly owned by all Shalampaxians, Exposednipple should pay at least a small royalty to the Government of Shalampax. This would benefit all Shalampaxians—poor and rich, unfortunate and fortunate, sick and healthy, stupid and … well, OK, there isn’t much alternative to stupid here.

Exposednipple carefully considered the royalty proposal on legal, ethical and moral grounds. His lawyer told him that under Shalampax legislation and tradition he was under no obligation to pay the royalty. However, this answer did not satisfy Exposednipple. He also consulted his spiritual adviser, the Chief Sage Officer of Infinitiaty. After hours of devout meditation, Exposednipple magnanimously told the people of Shalampax, “Fuck you. It’s mine.”

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this oil find. True, even if it turns out to be a monumental oil reservoir, this new industry will likely not generate as much revenue as Shalampax’s spam industry or it’s religion industry. Nonetheless, the sale of oil should expand our economy considerably, even if it does all go to Exposednipple and the hookers he likes to frequent. Oh, so that’s what he meant by, “Fuck you.”

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In other news, the supply ship that docked at our temporary pier during the recent brief calm period crashed against the rocks surrounding Shalampax. Upon doing so, it quickly broke apart and sank. All hands, not to mention other body parts, were lost.

The accident is being attributed to human error. Unfortunately, the captain miscalculated the amount of fuel he had in his tank. There was not enough to get his ship out of danger before one of our near-constant hurricane-force storms came up and dashed the ship against the rocks.

The meager amount of fuel in his tanks might have been sufficient to effect an escape from the treacherous rocks even if it was not adequate to propel the ship to a nearby port. However, someone inadvertently neglected to detach the ship from a mysterious pipe. (Human error number two.) One end of the pipe was anchored on our island. The other end was securely clamped to the ship by an unknown person at an unknown time for an unknown purpose. If the ship’s engines hadn’t had to struggle to break free from the pipe there almost certainly would have been enough fuel for the ship to get a safe distance from the rocks before the storm struck.

Some people just seem to have all the luck—and all of it is bad.

Our thoughts go out to the families and loved ones of the crew. (We’re not sure if it’s true elsewhere, but here in Shalampax the intersection set of families and loved ones is usually empty.)

We can’t explain why but, while in Shalampax, the crew of rewrote their wills to bequeath all their worldly possessions to the people of Shalampax. We greatly appreciate their generosity. We trust that the previous heirs will honor the brave, now deceased crew by respecting the crew’s wishes and not contesting the new wills. We should all commend the crew members’ generosity, particularly considering that we were strangers to them before our recent brief encounter. 

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1 Obviously, the offer to allow customers to test the oil before paying for it is not being made to Shalampaxians, only foreigners. To a person, all Shalampaxians would take the oil for testing, falsely claim that it wasn’t oil, and then keep it without paying for it.

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