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What a load of Rubbish

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Today’s celebration is in memory of the world’s most well-travelled garbage.

Don’t know whether you remember this one, but I have vague recollections of it.

In 1987 a barge towed by the ‘Break of Dawn’ tug loaded with more than 3000 tons of trash set sail from Long Island for North Carolina. While en route it came out that the barge was carrying, among other things, medical waste (syringes and old-man nappies full of old man poo and so on) and was therefore deemed toxic. Needless to say, North Carolina decided that they might not want this crap after all, coz of course they only wanted high-class waste. So, after 300 miles of sailing the USS Shitheap was left at sea without a destination.

So, after 11 days of fragrancing the coast of North Carolina with its bouquet, it headed for Louisiana, a 1600 mile journey. However, apparently 3000 tons of nappies and dog-food cans were not on Louisiana’s wish list, and so the barge was not welcome there either. A few more days idling off the coast in Caribbean weather must have helped on board, I’m sure.

In fact, just to make sure it didn’t go astray, the Mexican navy arrived in the Yucatan channel to prevent the rubbish from accidentally slipping into Mexican waters. Imagine a fleet of destroyers, battleships, cruisers and the odd carrier sitting, bristling with weaponry, waiting for a small barge with 3000 tons of poo.

So, bypassing Mexico, USS Shitheap headed for Belize where… guess what? They weren’t on the lookout for 100 tons of soiled underwear and had fulfilled their quote of used cotton-buds for the year. And so, somewhat dejected and another 900 miles further away, the garbage monster turned and headed back for New York, some 1700 miles distant.

And so, on May 16th 1987, after a journey of around 4000 miles and accompanied by a smell of poo, the USS Shitheap once more arrived in New York, where it was refused permission to dock. Apparently (and this is the kicker) officials were concerned that the garbage would constitute a serious health hazard after spending so long at sea. Ironically, they would have let it dock before the journey, but now it was too risky.

In fact, the garbage stayed anchored for months afterwards off New York in 95 degree heat, having been refused by 3 countries, 6 US states and the Borough President of Queens, who issued a restraining order against the barge! One can only imagine how charming the area smelled. Finally, after months of court battles, the garbage was burned and the ash dumped in a landfill and USS Shitheap went for a shower in October.

One has to feel a little sorry for Lowell Harrelson, who was the man who OWNED the trash during this time. It only goes to show that it does not do to own crap.

As for me… Well now, there’s actually very little today for me to either shout about or complain over. Another Person leaves work today and two more are on the way in the next month, including McBoring the incredible grey Human Resources Waste of Good Oxygen. Even the people who made this place hell are now leaving coz it’s getting too much for them! At this rate I will be the last survivor of Soulless Corporation (TM). I wonder if I win anything? I’m half expecting when I finish to walk outside and find out that viewers of some Chinese TV channel have been voting people off the show. That is sometimes how it feels in this place.

Don’t get me wrong. That sounds quite depressing really, but I’m actually finding it quite amusing.

Ah well. The weekend’s almost here.

Wonder if I’ll get my not-brown phone sent today?

Merry weekend to you all.



Written by SJAT

January 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

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