Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones today assured citizens that he and several members of his cabinet have spent nearly 10 minutes trying to contain a large olive oil spill on their table at the West Broad Street Olive Garden location, and hoped to have it cleaned up by the end of the hour.
Though preliminary details are unclear, sources have confirmed that the olive oil was uncontrollably released onto the table after the mayor’s arm accidentally knocked the 16-ounce bottle onto its side. Etiquette groups were quick to criticize the administration’s apparent lack of proper table manners for causing the spill, which is threatening a nearby staffer’s $14.95 Seafood Alfredo habitat.
“I assure you, we are doing everything in our power to ensure this mess is cleaned up and that we leave this table in better condition than before we arrived,” said Jones, who has pledged to cover the entire cost of the meal.
The mayor estimated that approximately 5 ounces of dressing are leaking from the bottle every minute, though restaurant management has said that figure could be closer to 10 ounces.
As of 12:10 p.m., the mayor’s staff had cordoned off the olive oil slick from the rest of the table with napkin barriers, although the group’s supply of napkins has been exhausted, Jones said. He predicted that the napkins will not have enough absorbency to contain the entire spill, and “the prevailing tilt of the table will cause the slick to spread toward populated seats.”
If a member of the Olive Garden’s waitstaff does not arrive with extra napkins soon, Jones said the party of six is exploring alternative cleanup plans ranging from dipping the remaining breadsticks into the oil, creating a siphon system with drinking straws, or who knows really, maybe just scooping it up with their hands or something.
“At a minimum,” restaurant manager Clive Harrison told assembled reporters, “today’s disaster is projected to close this desirably-located table for several minutes, and we’ll need to replace the cloth and a majority of the sweetener packets.”
For many, the olive oil spill brought to mind the April 2009 incident now known as Cheddar Bay, where a disastrous miscommunication of the last delectable biscuit at a Red Lobster restaurant damaged the slacks and skirt of two diners at the mayor’s table.
Oh, by the way, that petroleum well in the Gulf of Mexico is still spewing tons of oil into the ocean.