Another BP oil spill

June 10, 2010

OK. It is an oil spill. It does involve BP. Only it isn’t that BP. And it isn’t crude. In fact, it is highly refined.

Our daughter Beth (the BP in the story) returned today from 3 weeks in Israel. Rya asked her to bring back some Israeli olive oil. And not just any olive oil, but olive oil from Kibbutz Yad Mordechai We discovered this olive oil ( on our 2005 trip and stock up whenever we visit.

We equipped Beth with bubble wrap, tape and Ziplock bags. We didn’t give her explicit directions on how to pack.

Beth bought 12 liters of olive oil, as well as 3 or 4 bottles of the kibbutz’s wonderful honey. Yes, you read that correctly – 12 liters.

Her suitcase was seriously overweight, but that was OK. She warned the airline personnel so they could appropriately mark the suitcase to protect the baggage handlers. She paid a weight charge as a result, but that was OK.

When she got to Philadelphia Beth claimed her luggage to change planes and clear customs everything was OK with her luggage.

When we collected her bags in Chicago, however, I noticed a couple of dark spots. Sure enough, we had a serious oil spill. Not “black gold”  or “Texas tea” as in the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, but clear, delicious, wonderfully fragrant. In and among her clothes, some of which she bought in Israel. Oy!

Once we got settled at home, our crack cleanup team sprang into action. Beth pulled everything out of her bag, separating dry from oily. She and Rya carefully treated the clothes with Dawn, the same stuff we (and maybe you) wash our dishes with and animal rescuers use to clean marine mammals’ fur and birds’ feathers. We also had to soak the duffel bag in Dawn, then sprayed it with the garden hose to get out the soap.

Did our rescue operation succeed? We rescued all the clothes. We’ll have to wait and see about the duffel. It’s outside drying and will likely require some more TLC to get all the soap out and make it usable.

We did have one casualty. A second bag Beth had packed with stuff ended up with a big rip. Fortunately, nothing was missing.

So, that is our big disaster. It was well contained and easily abated. No wildlife died, though we had to work hard to keep our dogs away from interesting smells.  In a couple of days, there will probably be no trace of what happened. If only the people of the Gulf Coast could have such an easy time with their BP spill.


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