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This is the
Shmoopey Page


This is a page devoted to random things!
Today the page is dedicated to the

  Dead Whale Removal


                                                           by Dave Barry


        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 whale removal.

        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


p.s. this page is dedicated to my shmoopey, J.
(i love you)