And now for something completely different*
NARRATOR: Coming into view, wheeling a cart filled with the carcasses of failed grand plans of earlier blue-sky days, is the DEAD COLLECTOR. He’s approached by a VILLAGER, who’s carrying what appears to be the CORPSE of yet another Big Idea. And … action!
DEAD COLLECTOR: Bring out yer dead. … Bring out yer dead.
VILLAGER: Here’s one.
DEAD COLLECTOR: Put’im in the cart.
CORPSE: Wait a minute. I’m not dead yet.
DEAD COLLECTOR: ‘Ere now. He says he’s not dead.
VILLAGER He will be soon, he’s very ill.
CORPSE: I’m getting better.
DEAD COLLECTOR: I can’t take ‘im like that. It’s against regulations.
VILLAGER: Hang on a moment. He’ll be gone soon.
MiIRACLE MAX: It just so happens that your friend here is mostly dead.
VILLAGER: Hey, you … go back to your own movie.
MAX: There’s a big difference between ‘’mostly dead’ and ‘all dead.’
CORPSE: I don’t want to go in the cart.
DEAD COLLECTOR: Say there, Mostly Dead Big Idea … what do they call you?
CORPSE: Sir Jordan … Sir Jordan of Cove LNG. The LNG is in all caps.
DEAD COLLECTOR: What does the LNG, in all caps, stand for?
DEAD COLLECTOR: Villager, why do you believe Sir Jordan here is dead?
MAX: “All dead.”
DEAD COLLECTOR: Yes, yes, all dead.
VILLAGER: Because, just this past week, his lawyers wrote in a court document the following:
“Jordan Cove (Energy Project, L.P.,) and Pacific Connector (Gas Pipeline, L.P.,) ... have decided to pause the development of the Jordan Cove Liquefied Natural Gas Project ... while they assess the impact of recent regulatory decisions involving denial of permits or authorizations necessary for the Project to move forward.”
Given all the trouble he’s already been through, that sounds like dead to me.
MAX: I’ve seen worse.
CORPSE OF SIR JORDAN: I feel fine. Just check out my website … jordancovelng.com.
DEAD COLLECTOR: Hold on, hold … Is that all caps?
SIR JORDAN: Ummm ....
DEAD COLLECTOR: “Could not display this Web Site as no Start Page has been configured.”
DEAD COLLECTOR: I’ll try the media relations link … “Page Not Found.”
VILLAGER: You’re not fooling anyone, you know. You’ll be gone soon enough. … Hey, where’d he go?
MINSTREL: When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.
NARRATOR: Brave Sir Jordan of Cove LNG, having escape the Dead Collector’s cart, bravely retreated into the woods while his lawyers asked for a suspension of a case being heard in federal court in the District of Columbia, where landowners affected by the pipeline objected to the project’s approval by minions of the previous king.
OPPONENT: Listen, strange people lyin’ in swamps distributing power is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate of the masses, not from some FERC-cical aquatic ceremony.
NARRATOR: Lord Pembina, parent company of the pipeline and natural gas terminal project, had laid the groundwork for the “pause” …
VILLAGER: (off stage) He’s dead, I’m telling you.
NARRATOR: … ahem, last month in a separate document filed with the Securities Exchange commission:
“We believe the time for these projects may come; however, we can no longer predict with certainty when that time will be …”
The opposition, already buoyed by victories at the state and federal level relating to permits and environmental concerns — as well as the election of a new king — have continually stressed that the time for the demise of Sir Jordan of Cove had arrived.
OPPONENT: I don’t want to talk to you no more. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! … You want “natural gas”? I fart in your general direction.
(END STOPOVER IN D.C. … it’s a silly place)
NARRATOR: The Villager has captured Sir Jordan of Cove — finding him battered, bloodied, with no arms at his disposal and without a leg to stand on — and brings him back, triumphantly, for a refund.
VILLAGER: Look, matey. I know a dead pipeline when I see one … and I’m looking at one right now.
DEAD COLLECTOR: No, no, he’s not dead. He’s just restin’.
SIR JORDAN: I’m just taking a pause.
MAX: I’ve seen worse. What do you think?
DR. LEONARD McCOY: Don’t ask me. I’m a doctor, not a natural gas engineer, conservation lawyer, state planner or federal regulator.
VILLAGER: Enough, all of you. He’s passed on! This pipeline is no more! He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet his maker! He’s a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! If he hadn’t asked for a “pause,” he’d be pushing up daisies! His metabolic processes are now history! He’s kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! … THIS IS AN EX-PIPELINE!!!
SIR JORDAN: All right, we’ll call it a draw.
(AND ... CURTAIN)
Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin chews on life’s gristle at firstname.lastname@example.org
*If by “different,” it’s meant “apologetically, and with deep admiration, appropriated”