Oil clean up

31May10

One moment I was cooking a stir fry and trying to open a bottle of sunflower oil, the next moment I had a BP situation.

The blowout preventer on the top of the bottle failed and a fountain of oil gushed over the kitchen worktop, the floor and my favourite pair of jeans. It was a major spillage, potentially a record spillage, easily surpassing Mrs R’s experience with the roast potatoes last year.

Fortunately I had been reading the news, so I knew what to do. The immediate action should be to soak up the slick with absorbent material like human hair and alpaca wool.

My hair is currently very short. Even if I could bend low enough, it would not absorb much oil off the floor. I hurriedly looked around the kitchen for an alpaca. Mrs R is very organised so she would certainly put an alpaca in the cupboard, not leave it lying around. I opened a couple of doors. No luck, not even a llama.

In the absence of South American ruminants, I grabbed some kitchen towel and wiped a path through the spillage. The stir fry was starting to burn. I stepped forward to the cooker.

WHOAAAH!!!… That was slippery.

Very carefully I steadied myself on the oil shiny tiles, holding the edge of the hob for support. By moving both my feet towards each other I was able to glide backwards. Like Bambi on ice I teetered to the doorway and picked up an old newspaper.

I constructed some booms of newsprint to keep the oil off the beaches and laid a few sheets down in front of the cooker.

These days everyone knows that the oil on the surface is only part of the problem. It is the hidden oil in the deeper layers that can cause long term damage to the ecosystem…

…I opened the cupboard under the hob. Oil dripped off the shelves and pooled around the base of the saucepans.

Mrs R peered around the door. She helpfully observed that I would need some chemical dispersant once I had finished cooking. “And a mop”.

It was going to be a long clean up operation.

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3 Responses to “Oil clean up”

  1. Personally i’m very disappointed at the complete lack of ungulates in your kitchen. I hope this little incident has been a lesson for the future ;¬)

  2. 2 Camilla

    In addition the oil supply companies (aka “supermarkets”) should be funding an oil spill alert system and clean-up flying squad, who could reach your kitchen within 24 hours and supply you with suitable absorbent materials. Have they arrived yet?

  3. 3 Mrs R

    Nearly had a repeat performance last night as you forgot to clean up the oil bottle itself. It was still very slippery…


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