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Posts Tagged ‘scavenging’

The Ohio River continues to rise and as this year draws to a close…it will go down as either our wettest ever or close to the top.  At the time of this writing,  we are more than twenty inches above normal rainfall.  During a usual year, we can expect a bit more than forty inches of precipitation and we are past the sixty inches mark with a forecast calling for even more heavy downpours.  I believe we set the old mark in 2004 for most rain in our Kentuckiana area.  Okay, so all this is a bit boring I admit, however, it sets the stage for the day and this adventure at the Falls of the Ohio.

Because the river was rising, the normal shoreline at the Falls was underwater which in turn forced me to higher ground.  That means today’s adventure took place on the large pile of driftwood that formed during last spring’s flooding.  The large wooden mound is interlaced with all kinds of debris that floated in with the bloated river which acts as an attraction for scavengers such as myself and an acquaintance I came across today who goes by the nickname “Pig Boy”.  Yes, he bears some resemblance to a pig, but as he told me…he came by this unflattering handle because he enjoys getting dirty especially by the river.  “Piggie” and I have this in common and so we get along famously.  It had been a while since I saw him last and I asked if anything was new?  That’s when he related to me a recent nightmare he experienced and as he spoke the following images came to my mind and through the miracle of digital means I present to it to you for your perusal. I began to hear bits of the old “Twilight Zone” theme in my brain.

As the dream begins, Pig Boy found himself on the very driftwood mountain we were standing upon.  He was there because over the months this mound shifts and falls under its own weight and decomposition revealing new “treasures” originally captured by the river.  As Pig Boy explained it…he was just in his own head space checking out the variety of packaging that was intermixed with all the wood.  That’s when the most curious thing happened when he looked up.

All kinds of plastic bottles and containers were emerging from the driftwood pile and moving towards him as if he were a plastic magnet.  Pig Boy was transfixed and unable to move as this plastic wave began to close in on him.

More and more plastic kept coming towards him and before long it started to build up around his body which made moving or running away even harder.

Soon the bottles reached his waist and were piling up even more!  Not all of these bottles were empty and some of them contained river water and the backwash of old soft drinks and who knows what else? By this time in Piggie’s dream he was truly getting alarmed and he remembers this voice telling him that he needed to get out of there!

Before all these plastic bottles could completely overwhelm him… Pig Boy remembers letting out a scream because he was just so frightened.  The feeling  of helplessness was upon him and he forced himself to wake up which he did in a cold sweat.  He recalls the immense feeling of relief when he realized that this had all been a bad dream.  I could feel the claustrophobic sense of being engulfed by all this plastic as my friend relayed his story to me and I became scared as well.

And so I asked my friend after such a bad dream…what was he doing back here?  He replied that he didn’t have a good answer and that he is compelled to come out here for the thrill of discovery or something like that.  Pig Boy can’t help himself.  Every once in a while, you can actually find something useful out here that can be recycled in some way and besides it’s nice to be out in nature.  After a few more minutes and various pleasantries…we parted wishing the other well and happy hunting.  I stood there on the driftwood by myself and looked up at the river which to my imagination seemed higher in the short amount of time I had been out there.  My mind then turned to something I had read about how our oceans are now becoming increasingly filled with plastic garbage that coagulates into large masses and probably will never go away.  That thought was in turn interrupted by a drop of rain that fell on my cheek and I decided it was time to go home too.  I’ll bet we establish that new rainfall record before the end of the year.  Stay dry everybody.

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