Home Page Issues Page Poo Page
From TCP # 8 A small satire. This is a sample of some of the fun we've had with a subject that invites comedy if not hysteria!
The Poo Police of the Whitsundays
By Bob Norson
We saw the Water Police boat. It anchored about a half mile up the inlet from us.
There were six of us on board our forty foot ketch. Besides me and the wife, we had another couple and their two kids as crew. The younger of the two, little Amy, was near the gunnel when she gasped and pointed to the water "what's that" she said. We all stepped over to the starboard gunnel where she was pointing, and sure enough, there was a huge field of air bubbles gushing out of the water near the boat. As we watched two heads in full underwater gear became visible, then their tanks. One of them pulled back his mask and said, "g'day, water police here and we want to have a word with you." While we were thus distracted the police boat had moved and came along side as well.
The two divers came on board while the other two stayed on their craft. "We have to talk to you about the sewerage discharge from your boat." This came as a shock as I had spent thousands of $$ and weeks of time to bring the boat up to current regulations as best I could determine what they were. "Impossible," I said, "we have the correct holding tanks, we don't discharge anything." "That's what they all say but we collected a sample from underneath your boat and I've got it right here!" He raised a water filled zip lock bag and there was a small irregularly shaped piece of brownish substance floating in it. "That means nothing," I said. "That could have come from anywhere and we are not even sure what that is, though it doesn't look very nice." The water cop was still smiling, "We figured you could say that, that's why we brought the medico's with us to take specimens from you and your crew. Everyone line up here on deck," he ordered as the crew of the water cop boat snapped on their rubber gloves.
"You can't be serious," I said in a low tone of voice. "Absolutely serious," he said. "How else do you think we can enforce the law." "You mean you run around here with a medical crew, swim the whole anchorage in SCUBA, looking for a piece of shit that you can bag for evidence?" "Even without considering the invasion you threaten, that seems a bit extreme for the offense." "No trouble at all when you consider the $63,750 fine we get from you for this," he replied. "All we need is one of you buggers per month and we can keep this project in profit and that's all we need to do to keep the boys in Brissy happy with us."
Meanwhile the other diver, who had asked to have a look around the 'pretty boat' climbed up the companionway saying, "oh mate, I've got bad news. You don't have your garbage notice in place. That's an offence!" "What are you talking about?" My face was starting to turn very red with bulging veins in the temples. "Any vessel over 12 meters is required to have a notice placed in several locations on the vessel to instruct crew and passengers on how to properly dispose of rubbish," he said. Just then I heard a scream as little Jamie stepped on an old fish hook left on deck from who knows when. As his mother rushed to his side the paper plate that had been holding her lunch flew from her lap and into the water. "OOOHHHH improper disposal of rubbish and fishing tackle on deck in a green zone .that's $262,500 for the rubbish and another $12,300 for the fishing gear!" The first diver exclained, "I might take a holiday after this. That makes the total about $340,000 so far!" "What is the fine for assault," I asked? "Usually about $400 and expenses," diver one replied. "Why do you ask?" He said as I picked up the anchor windlass bar