Being that my family and I live in a coastal town, we are privy to a run of grey whales passing by on their way to and from the gulf of Mexico twice a year. Whether this migration is the result of natural instincts or male whales refusing to ask for directions is unclear. What I do know is that our small town of Florence, Ore., recieved national attention back in 1970, when a whale caracass washed up on a nearby beach. Though tourism skyrocketed during the first few days, that began to change as
nature took its course and a two-mile radius began to smell like a port-o-potty at an outdoor sushi convention.
City officials were suddenly faced with two crucial questions:
1) How to dispose of tons of rotting whale as quickly as possible?
2) Would the “I Had a Whale of a Time in Florence” T-shirts arrive it in time?
Eventually, officials chose the most logical solution, which came from a contractor who I’m guessing was going through a bitter divorce: disintegrate the whale by packing hundreds of pounds of dynamite around the carcass and blowing it up into tiny, insignificant bits of crab food!
In theory, it probably sounded feasible.
At least after a few beers.
In reality — are you sitting down? — it was a complete disaster. Flying whale bits and blubber rained down on spectators for half a mile. The local news coverage received national attention, getting as close to going “viral” as you could in those days without being tested…
So why am I bringing all of this up now? And how long until I’m shot during a drive-by from someone at our Chamber of Commerce?
The answer to the second question will depend on what time the gun store opens up.
The answer to the first question stems from this video I took a few days ago, when my family and I, along with a handful of spectators, watched as a small pod of orcas came up-river for a short visit to Florence before returning to the ocean. I’m happy to say there were no explosives involved, and the only blubbering came from the excitement of witnessing something so amazing…
I’d like to reiterate that no whales were harmed in the making of this video. Although I’m not sure I can say the same for myself once the Florence Tourism Board sees this…