Sharks, CO2, and Other Deadly Shit

Don’t go in the water, or breathe, or …

My parents took our family on beach vacations when I was a kid. For a week, the world was a giant sandbox with all the free water you could carry by bucket. No one said, “turn off the hose. You’re wasting water.”

My sisters and I used our brother in sand sculptures. The year we sculpted a merman, Dad lectured that anatomically correct features in sand weren’t acceptable. He didn’t give a wit about Michelangelo and David. “We’re at the beach for crying out loud not a museum.”

Clothing the female version in a seashell bra caused further uproar. Our brother patted his mermaid breasts with enthusiasm, Mom said, “that’s not right either. Unbury your brother.” Henceforth sand sculptures were to be gender indistinguishable like turtles or starfish or we’d be limited to castles.

With freedom of expression squelched, we moved to naming the abundant variety of seagulls. Weenie Gulls were greedy and stole hot dogs. Feces Gulls pooped on you. Boat Gulls sat on boats. We were more creative in three dimensional art.

The beach built self-confidence. If you emerged from the ocean after swimming with sharks, which had the potential to eat you, the rest of life seemed manageable.

Those carefree days were history. Instead of coexisting like coral reefs, man scooped and dumped, a gluttonous hybrid Weenie/Feces Gull. Man wasn’t one bird snatching a meal, but a psycho flock terrorizing the planet.

We used bodies of water, soil, and air as a giant toilet for deadly shit, oil spills, chemicals, and poisonous gases. Not a problem if giant Krakens existed drank oil, ate nuclear waste, breathed in CO2, and pooted pure oxygen.

Politicians who lived in cushy bubbles, worked three weeks a year, and accomplished nothing, still denied that global warming existed.

Scientists worked and lived in the environments they studied. Scientists battled environmental conditions, unstable regimes, sharks and still did their job which served others. I trusted a scientist over a politician.

Mankind was even killing the Dead Sea. Water levels receded every year due to river diversion because of increased population and industries. A politician’s solution included a multibillion dollar pipeline to pump water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea instead of water conservation which counted on changing public behavior and cooperation.

Might these bodies of water be separated by land for a reason? Couldn’t that solution possibly eff up both environments?

Within decades, rising ocean acidity would affect life in ways we’d not seen in ten’s of millions of years. My imagination leaned toward unicorn butterflies emerging, but more likely rats the size of cars. We’d have to harvest rats for food because half of earth’s species (the tastier things) may be gone and you can’t eat money.

Meanwhile, politicians and scientists agreed that Krakens didn’t exist.

To combat global warming I had what I grew up with, common sense. My childhood home housed six people who shared bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. When Dad took over the only TV, we kids played in a special room called outside. We didn’t expend fuel to heat it. We wore coats.

Our property boasted trees which cooled the house in the summer and protected it in winter. As for leaves Dad said, “that’s why I had kids.” We raked leaves, composted them, and grew tomatoes in summer. In winter we shoveled snow. Leaf and snow blowers were for people who had had heart attacks.

When Mom ran out of milk, we ran to the store on two legs. We walked to the bus stop. The fuel we saved on short trips justified a trip to the beach. We wore things out before throwing them away.

Today, I hung clothes on a line to dry. I reminded my family, “if you take it, you eat it. There’s starving people in the world. Close the door. We’re not heating the outside. Turn off the lights. We don’t own stock in the electric company. Recycle or compost that.”

Keep the rat-a-sushi. I’ll take a tasty tomato watered from my rain barrel. Living simply to simply live was better than doing nothing. Imagine sculpting only castles in sand. Turn off the hose. You’re wasting water.

Published in Funny Times-July 2016

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