MIDLAND, Texas – For many years decommissioned offshore oil platforms have been converted to service as artificial reefs, all in an effort to beautify an otherwise unsightly industry and also because some regulatory bodies make it so. Now there is a proposal to expand the concept to artificial mountains on land.
Otis Peipdreem, County Commissioner for Pancake County, Texas, floated the proposal at the recent Offshore Technology Conference and Chili Cook-off in Houston, TX. In a semi-prepared statement, he said,
Them platforms is mighty huge! Now, the change in elevation from one end of Pancake County to the other is about 2 feet and there ain’t that much to see. I figure that if we could put a couple of them suckers out behind the county courthouse we could build up the tourist trade around these parts. We could set out a few tarps on the platforms to catch all the dust blowing in from West Texas, spray a little asphalt to keep it in place and before you know it we’d have a mountain. – Otis Piepdreem
Some of the local residents do not fully grasp the concept of having mountains in the middle of Texas, let alone Pancake County. Indeed many of the county’s residents couldn’t tell a mountain from a landfill. When challenged about the idea by a long-time local merchant, Mr. Piepdreem continued,
Johnny Joe down at the feed store asked me what the hell we would do with a mountain. I told him that if we build it they will come. Who’s they? Then I told him to shut up and finish loadin’ the Purina. Anyway, I figure that if the mountain gets big enough we could put in a ski resort and attract people from as far away as three counties over, maybe even some of dem funny talkin’ folk from up there in Canadia.
When it was pointed out to Mr. Peipdreem that it snows in Pancake County about once every 50 years he replied, “Way ahead of you. Most folks around here have an old refrigerator on the back porch. All we need is for ‘em to bring an ice chest full of cubes to the mountain and run ‘em through the sno-cone machine.”
During a subsequent question-and-answer session, Commissioner Peipdreem was asked about the difficulty of moving such large structures onto land. He said, “Well, we’d have to take ‘em apart, haul the pieces to shore and then put it all back together again. I figure we’ll need a crane, a couple of Cat D-9’s and my son-in-law’s welding machine.”
If the State approval process all goes well for the commissioner, construction of the mountain-rigs will commence in Q2 2015 and he expects the first tourists to visit shortly thereafter.