Pope Mohammed and the Oil Derrick

“We’re doing the Earth a favor by relieving her of her oil,” says Pope Mohammed. He’s holding a powder donut near his mouth with his index finger and thumb. When Pope Mohammed hits the “TH” in the word earth, a little powder from his donut sweeps into the air. You watch it swirl and dissipate.

Pope Mohammed’s other hand is around a styrofoam cup of steaming, black coffee.

“How are we doing her a favor?” You ask after swallowing a bit of coffee that is sweetened with a little sugar, lightened with a little cream.

Pope Mohammed looks at you over the edge of his upturned coffee cup. You are with Pope Mohammed at a donut shop on Main Street. Outside there is an American Flag blowing in the wind. Across the street there is a Presbyterian Church.

A flash of a memory enters your head of a photo you saw on the front page of the local Newspaper. The image was of a young boy caught on a fence. Apparently the kid tried to jump the church fence, and he slipped. He fell and a fence spear stabbed his jaw and exited through his open mouth. The fire department had to saw off the fence spear before pulling the boy off the fence. He went home after some reconstruction, stitches and bandaging. The story and the image burned a hole in your mind.

“Oil is the pimple of mother earth, and we need to pop it,” explains Pope Mohammed.

Perplexed, you ask, “The pimple of earth … needs to be popped?”

“Have you ever seen a derrick fire?” Pope Mohammed asks. He has licked his finger, and now he’s punching at the white powder atop the wax paper in front of him.

“Um, no. Have you?” You ask.

“No. But I’ve seen ‘There Will be Blood’ and I saw footage of the explosion from the gulf last year.” Pope Mohammed is licking his fingers intermittently as he’s talking.

“Crude wants to burn [lick]. And whether we burn it in our car engines [lick] or it burns on its own [lick] that stuff wants to come out, and we should rid the earth of it for her sake [burp].”

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