FileTitle: Prose191.html
Category: Humor
Type: Prose
Description: Far Side in the Real World
FROM:  Tom Mahoney, #9, Coast Guard Sqn.1/Div.13

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 objects.  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

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 Capitol.