Friday, January 7, 2011
Spilled beef tallow floats, ice floe-like, in the Houston Ship Channel. Photo: A.P., U.S. Coast Guard.
A storage tank containing a quarter of a million gallons of liquefied beef schmaltz sprung a leak Tuesday, spilling 15,000 gallons of the fragrant grease into the Houston Ship Channel.
Swimmers and sunbathers barely noticed the floating chunks of solidified tallow in the Channel, where it qualifies as “background noise.”
Charley Thibodeaux, a resident of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana who was vacationing in Houston, said, “It’s actually kinda cool. Looks like pictures I seen of Antarctica, with them chunks of ice. And it kinda smells like French fries - you know, them good ones McDonald’s usedta to make before the Socialist gummint made ’em use that vedgible oil.”
The waterway is temporarily shut down as the Coast Guard completes a cleanup that involved the deployment of six vessels with containment booms and 150,000 pounds of raw julienned potatoes.
Local Britons have announced a day of mourning. Nigel Gilroy-Poon, head of the British American Business Council, Social Club, and Fortnightly Tea-Party, bewailed the spill, calling it “not only an environmental tragedy, but a loss to British culture of the first magnitude. Alas for all the suet puddings that, now, will never be!”