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How NOT to dispose of a whale
(thousands of forwards deleted. I wish I knew who wrote this originally)
) The Farside comes to life in Oregon.
I am absolutely not making this incident up; in fact I have it all
on videotape. The tape is from a local TV news show in Oregon,
which sent a reporter out to cover the removal of a 45-foot,
eight-ton dead whale that washed up on the beach. The
responsibility for getting rid of the carcass was placed on the
Oregon State Highway Division, apparently on the theory that
highways and whales are very similar in the sense of being large
So anyway, the highway engineers hit upon the plan--remember, I am
not making this up--of blowing up the whale with dynamite. The
thinking is that the whale would be blown into small pieces, which
would be eaten by seagulls, and that would be that. A textbook
So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put a half-ton of
dynamite next to the whale and set it off. I am probably not guilty
of understatement when I say that what follows, on the videotape, is
the most wonderful event in the history of the universe. First you
see the whale carcass disappear in a huge blast of smoke and flame.
Then you hear the happy spectators shouting "Yayy!" and "Whee!"
Then, suddenly, the crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound like
"splud." You hear a woman's voice shouting "Here come pieces of...
MY GOD!" Something smears the camera lens.
Later, the reporter explains: "The humor of the entire situation
suddenly gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale
blubber fell everywhere." One piece caved in the roof of a car
parked more than a quarter of a mile away. Remaining on the beach
were several rotting whale sectors the size of condominium units.
There was no sign of the seagulls who had no doubt permanently
relocated to Brazil. This is a very sobering videotape. Here at
the institute we watch it often, especially at parties.
But this is no time for gaiety. This is a time to get hold of the
folks at the Oregon State Highway Division and ask them, when they
get done cleaning up the beaches, to give us an estimate on the US