I can’t imagine a better tourist destination right now than the pristine beaches of Alabama.
Sure, downtown Baghdad has some great restaurants. And, there’s always the possibility of catching a glimpse of Osama bin Laden in Karachi, Pakistan, but why hassle with foreign intrigue when the Gulf Coast beckons?
That’s why I’m supporting the Alabama Tourism Department’s brand new, $1.5MM marketing campaign to assure tourists the state’s beaches are clean and open.
I can just imagine the campaign slogans:
- ‘That’s not oil, silly. Someone just spilled her bottle of sunscreen in the water’
- ‘Just because our fish are floating face down doesn’t mean they aren’t happy’
- ‘Alabama’s oil slick waters: the perfect antidote for your arthritic joints’
And, just imagine the added drama of, say, zig-zagging your jet ski in between large oil patches! I could even see ESPN2 covering it as a new type of extreme sport. “Ed, our next contestant is Bunny from La Grange, Illinois. She’ll be attempting to beat Sam from Bowling Green’s time of 2:23 to, and from, what’s left of that oil rig out there on the horizon. And, keep in mind, there must be thousands of dead fish and birds littering her way. This will be a real test indeed. And, the beach crowd is just loving it. Those who haven’t been overcome by the putrid smells are standing and chanting, ‘Bunny! Bunny! Bunny!’”
As for the overall campaign’s theme song? What else but Deep Purple’s ‘Smoke on the Water.’
The late P.T. Barnum was credited with saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” But, I have to believe even the most intellectually challenged vacationer in America will be hard pressed to visit Alabama’s beaches in the next few weeks or so. That is, unless BP pulls a real marketing coup and offers to underwrite everyone’s vacation costs. “Hey, Honey, guess what? Those nice people at BP say they’ll pay us three dollars for every one we spend on vacation in Alabama. So what if we develop black lung disease? Think of what this will do for our retirement account.”