Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Turd in the Sandbox From the EPA

Summer. Days of sun and fun. Just like Sly and the Family Stone sang in “Hot Fun in the Summertime”. Makes you want to go to the beach and just kick back.

Joy Hickey (Jaime Pressly) "Don't be a turd in the sandbox"

Now comes a report that promises to spoil that image. Joy Hickey from “My Name Is Earl” says it best. “Don’t be a turd in the sandbox.” We’ve all seen ‘em, literally and figuratively. The kid is in the sandbox playing with his toy truck, a load of logs on the back. But wait. Those aren’t logs. They’re cat turds!

Well, the Environmental Protection Agency just laid a huge turd in the sandbox of every beach. “A new study says that you risk getting an upset stomach and diarrhea if you dig into the granular stuff to fill toy pails, build sand castles or bury yourself.”

You know there are just some things that are best left unsaid. You don’t need a government study to know that birds crap on the beach. Beach sand comes from under the sea. Fish poop sinks to the bottom and if the sand is dredged to renew a beach, the poop comes up with it. Birds crap in backyards where kids play too. And backyard dirt has worm castings (that’s a polite way of saying worm turds). Does that mean people shouldn’t garden?

But, according to the EPA, they just think it’s important to caution people about the bird droppings, urban runoff, sewage and other contaminants that pollute sand. So what’s next? Tyvek haz-mat suits for everyone going to the beach? Definitely not good for tanning or for mobility during that beach volleyball game.

Awwwww man. Are the beaches going to be deserted? No more young girls in skimpy bikinis? No more beef-cake guys with bigger pecs than the young girls in the skimpy bikinis? No more Frisbee throwing to dogs on the beach?

According to the study less than 10 percent of people who played with sand came down with diarrhea and/or gastrointestinal illness. But, that’s 24 percent higher than for people who didn’t.

Chris Heaney, lead author of the study and a post-doc student at the University of North Carolina said, “The beach…is not a sterile environment.” (And the government spent money to find that out!)

This weekend will see huge crowds at the beach in Imperial Beach, the southernmost city in San Diego County, for its annual U.S. Open Sandcastle competition. Nearly 300,000 people are expected to attend. That’s all the competition needs is for people to come down with diarrhea and pollute sand sculptures which took hours for artists to create.

And additional thousands will be in attendance at the annual Over the Line tournament which is a version of beach softball that attracts huge crowds. There’s lots of face diving into the sand for fly balls and line drives. Is the Monday diarrhea from bratwurst, beer or gull poop?
Kids, go to the beach. Play, have fun. Way too many of you have anal retentive Moms who are paranoid about germs. It’s playing and stuff where you get resistant to germs. Just wash or use hand sanitizer at the beach. But geez, if you worry about every little thing that might possibly have a germ, you’ll never do anything.

And that would be the biggest turd in the sandbox of all.

1 comment: