Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Maybe Darwin Was Wrong

Here's a photo of a dumb guy.

Image: Florida surf

Joe McGee plays in the pounding surf as strengthening Hurricane Rita moves near Key West, Fla., Tuesday. ( J. Pat Carter / AP)


Joe McGee is a moron.

That surf-worn concrete pylon beside Mr. Moron says "Southernmost Point Continental U.S.A." I have stood beside that pylon. I have looked out over the Caribbean from atop that seawall.

And folks, when it's placid, and you can see that gently-lapping water sparkling in the afternoon sun ... trust me, you do not want that shit (literally) washing over you.

Key West has two of Florida's 10 most-polluted beaches, according to state data released by a national environmental group and reported here. "Higgs Beach and South Beach, near the Southernmost Point [italics mine], were unsafe for swimming 22 percent and 30 percent of the time, respectively, in 2004 due to high contents of animal waste matter, the Natural Resources Defense Council reported.

"The pollution, even small traces of which can sicken people, often washes into the ocean at unsafe levels after rains." Rains like, oh I dunno ... like the Florida Keys are currently getting.

It's also a known fact that Key West's sewage system isn't the most reliable. When the system stumbles, that effluent has got to go somewhere, and the ocean surrounding the key seems like a likely bet (although clearly, not a safe one). Charles Osgood commented five years ago, "Sewage is leaking from faulty cesspits, septic tanks and sewer systems directly through the porous coral foundation of the islands and into the marine ecosystem. Tests have shown that the contents of a toilet flushed down a cesspit can show up in nearshore canals in a matter of hours."

By now, it's nightfall in Key West, and I'm sure Joe McGee is doubled over a toilet somewhere, hoping to flush either his system or the toilet bowl, whichever he can clear out first ...

posted by Gary @ 6:38 PM

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Location: Houston, Texas

Why the heck wouldn't you want to read the toxic byproducts of my mental processes? It's not like you're too busy to waste a minute or two here, you know. You ARE just killing time by mindlessly surfing the web. Pop open a brewski and stay a while.




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