Colbert: ‘Cursed monkey paw’ behind oily rain, ‘zombie pelicans’ next

By David Edwards
Friday, June 25, 2010 11:53 EDT
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A Russian news show published footage Wednesday that claimed to show oil raining from the sky in Louisiana, although there is much skepticism about the report. On Thursday, Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert cracked that one of his viewers was responsible for the alleged “brown bubbly stuff” shown in the video because they are using a “cursed monkey paw” to wish for oil to be removed from the Gulf.

Colbert also fears that a similar wish for wildlife to return could cause the shores to be “overrun with zombie pelicans feasting on our brains and turning the people of Louisiana into ghastly, undead creatures.”

A video uploaded to Russia Today‘s YouTube page shows an oily sheen on the ground while rain falls from the sky. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on record saying that there is no data showing that oil can evaporate, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

It’s unclear from the video whether the oily sheen seen on the ground really fell from the sky. Crude oil normally doesn’t evaporate, but some are speculating that oil mixed with Corexit 9500, the dispersant that BP is using on the ever-growing slick, could take to the air.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued statements saying that the agency “has no data, information or scientific basis that suggests that oil mixed with dispersant could possibly evaporate from the Gulf into the water cycle.”

The auto blog Jalopnik dug up a 2003 study that shows that oil on the open ocean could evaporate under the right conditions. And it’s unclear how the Corexit 9500 dispersant affects evaporation.

But Colbert isn’t taking any chances. He begged the viewer with the “cursed monkey paw” to stop trying to make things better in the Gulf.

Colbert seemed to referring to a horror short story by W.W. Jacobs titled “The Monkey’s Paw.” In the story, a cursed paw of a monkey grants its owner three wishes but interfering with fate comes at a huge price. According to the story, a mystic put a curse on the paw “to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow.”

“I just want to address one of my viewers right now. Whoever has the cursed monkey paw, stop making wishes,” begged Colbert.

“You cradled the shriveled paw and wished all that oil wasn’t in the ocean anymore. The next thing you know it’s raining oil from the fucking sky,” observed Colbert.

“And whatever you do, do not wish for all the Gulf wildlife to be alive again, because we don’t want our shores to be overrun with zombie pelicans feasting on our brains and turning the people of Louisiana into ghastly, undead creatures,” said Colbert.

At that moment, a image of James Carville appeared on the screen and Colbert exclaimed, “Oh my God, it’s already happened!”

This video is from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, broadcast June 24, 2010.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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