Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Ypsilanti flood update: I went to the park yesterday to see if there was any remaining water after the storms of the weekend.

There were still some large ponds in the hollows of the grass. (See photo now posted in earlier entry below.) As I drew closer I could see some huge dead carp lying at the edges of the watery areas. There were also some still living ones gasping near the center. There was another, smaller pond where a dozen or so of the ragged, wretched things were lying half covered by water, waiting for Death of Fish. I saw a guy wade into the filthy water and catch one, carrying it by one gill-slit over to the river where he set it free.

This gave me the idea to run home and find something to rescue them with. So I ran home, grabbed a couple plastic buckets and the dustpan, and then stopped on the way back to the park to temporarily steal my neighbors' recycling bin.

The rescuing guy was gone when I returned, apparently having given up in the face of overwhelming numbers of fish. I rolled up my pants legs and squelched through the marsh into the pond, and began catching fish. They did not want to be caught and struggled mightily, regardless of the fact that I was going to save their little fishy lives. This led to some new words: "flaptitude" and even "flaptitious." As in, "That fish has a high flaptitude level," or "Stop being so flaptitious and get in the bin!"

This was a medium-sized specimen.

You would think that people might stop to help or even just to look, but the few people in the park pretty much kept their distance. (Perhaps I appeared insane, as befits my "mad scientist" status.) I really wished someone would come over so I could get them to take my picture doing it. It was pretty hard work and I wanted to stop after the first three fish, but I continued until they were all saved. Ungrateful little flappy buggers.

Just as I was dragging the very last fish over to the brink of the river, a park maintenance truck drove past on the walkway, and this old guy stopped to check out what I was doing. He thanked me on behalf of the fish, and then mentioned that the nearby Chinese restaurant had offered him $1 per fish, which apparently he refused. He mentioned that Ann Arbor had "accidentally" dumped some untreated wastewater into the river higher up. Huh. Accidentally, I just bet.

Now my jogging shoes are pretty much destroyed, but I can't even remember when I bought them so I guess it's probably time for a trip to Payless anyway. I'm sore all over—-fish-draggin's hard work! (Or maybe I'm getting sick and ache-y. I can't tell yet.)

I wonder if the neighbors will notice the horrible swamp smell when they take their recycling bin inside... their pets probably will notice, anyway.

1 comment:

argotnaut said...

If they thought *you* were crazy, it's a good thing they didn't see me rescuing hordes of ants from my dishwasher! (Even if I hadn't wanted to rescue them, who wants dead ants all over their dishes?)