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> How to remove a dead whale


> 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 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 situtation

> 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 marine 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 Iraq].



You can see the complete video for yourself at



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