I am absolutely not making this incident up; in fact I have it all on a
video clip on my PC. The video clip 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 an understatement when
I say that what follows, on the video, 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.