HOUSTON, Texas – In an effort to give our readers a better insight into the current oil and gas downturn, your intrepid reporter journeyed to the Upper Left But Not Quite Middle East to speak firsthand with the primary architect of the crisis, His Royal Majesty King al-Mir Fuhd of Sowdy Arabica. After passing through seemingly endless security checks, I was ushered into one of the king’s smaller offices, only about 200 by 400 meters, and was instructed to kneel on the floor in front of his throne.
Sir William Shortspeare: Your Majesty, thank you for consenting to this interview.
His Majesty King Fuhd: You are welcome, barbawion.
SWS: Is it true that you decided to use your nation’s vast oil production capacity and wealth to manipulate the price of oil and destroy competition from shale drilling and oil sands?
HMKF: Of course it is, you wustic wube, we’ve been bwagging about it for months.
SWS: How much longer do you intend to artificially depress the price of oil?
HMFK: Until Texas, North Dakota, Alberta and other oil pwoducing areas have an unempwoyment wate of 25%, infewior commoner.
SWS: Isn’t this a degree of economic damage to your allies that will ultimately alienate them?
HMKF: No, it isn’t, infidel. Wet me expwain. The west is going to need my oil for many decades. We whistle and the Amewican army comes wunning. Remember how easy it was for us to get them to bwow up Wybia and Iwaq? Now we’re working on Iwan.
SWS: As a personal favor for 2P News, my employer in Alberta, I request that you release from custody a Canadian citizen, Brian Roderick, who has been charged with defaming your kingdom by having a jar of Hormel Bacon Bits and a can of Moosepeace Beer in his luggage.
HMKF: [To a nearby aide] Welease Woderwick!
SWS: [Stifling a snicker] His family will be most gwateful.
HMKF: Gwateful? What does that word mean? Are you twying to confuse me, pwebian?
Before I could answer, the king abruptly left the room in a solid gold golf cart and I assumed the short interview was concluded. Furthermore, at the airport, my visa was stamped “Do Not Re-Admit.”
I was most thankful to return to Southern California where the state’s geriatric tyrant seeks to destroy only the local oil and gas industry, not the whole hemisphere’s.[Flowman, you better approve my travel expenses this time!]