As the State Turns

Good Night, Sweet Shrimp
Nothing says “MMM MMM MMM!!!!!!!” like the gnarly burrowing mud shrimp. These nasty little scum-guzzlers are native to the west coast, but have been all but wiped out by the efforts of commercial oyster farmers and a totally sweet parasite we’ll get to in just a moment. 

First, you may be asking yourself, what does an oyster care what a shrimp does? Well, the shrimp burrow all these crazy tunnels that the oysters sink into and then suffocate. That’s what. No matter that these tunnels create a unique ecosystem that a number of creatures depend on! Oysters are our favorite drinkable goo-fish, so damn the torpedoes and all that.

Now for the good part… the parasite. Ever seen the Star Trek Voyager episode “Nothing Human?” Well, our courageous half-klingon, half-human hybrid (their words, not mine) B’elanna Torres gets this giant centipede-like parasite on her. The thing is, like, 4 or 5 feet long, and is the second most disgusting thing to ever debut in a Star Trek episode (second only to Tuvix… ::shudders::). Here in the Oregon mud, we’ve got pretty much the same deal going on, as these shrimps are fighting somewhat identical, sorta-huge-squirmy-parasite-thingies. I feel so incredibly bad for them, because hashtag violent vomiting sounds. The worst part? This was first noticed in 1988. To put it into perspective, this is the year The Wonder Years premiered. That’s right, these shrimp have been getting Jack-LaLanne juiced by parasites since before Kevin started his emotionally-stunted journey into young adulthood.

The good news? Scientists are working on solutions that will protect the oyster beds as well as the shrimp. The bad news? It seems like the only real efforts to protect the shrimp are being done for PR purposes, because it never looks good for an industry to have driven a species to extinction. Other bad news? People eat oysters. Ew.

High-Speed in Our Future?
An early study on the feasibility of high-speed rail transit between Portland and Vancouver (the Canadian one) is happening. Like, right now. ::whoosh sounds::

The study itself costs several hundred thousand dollars, and will be looking into whether or not the magic money tree can be shaken hard enough to pay for a 250-mile-per-hour route between the two west coast destinations. We’re supposed to hear more come December, but my question is this: who the hell wants to go to Canada?

Personally, I’d like to see a high-speed trip between Eugene and Portland, because that drive SUCKS. Especially heading towards Eugene, after you pass under Highway 34. What a drag. Not only would it improve I-5 corridor accessibility and reduce emissions, but we could throw stuff out the window at all of those ridiculous Corvallisites, am I right? Especially that louse, Steve Schultz!

I’ll be submitting my theories to the authorities, so we shall see how that goes. I expect full compliance. After all, resistance is futile.

Portlanders Protest Thing That Obviously Sucks
People are out, about, and ain’t gonna take no… clout. I’m aware that makes no sense, but protest chants have to rhyme. It’s a rule. And when you’ve got everyone from the homeless right on up to the mayor taking to the streets, you don’t mess about.

See, Oregon is poised to lose tens of millions of dollars from federal housing funds according to the recent budget (or buttget, as I’ve been calling it… hilarious). This would undoubtedly screw over all sorts of people in the state, with the Portland area getting hit especially hard; Multnomah county is set to take the hit for a quarter of all money lost. Too bad Donald “the Jagoff” Trump doesn’t care much for veterans, cancer survivors, the mentally ill, or really just the poor in general, right? Damn, that’d make a huge difference. People would have housing, civil rights would be progressing instead of being rolled back to dumb-dumb levels, and Steve Bannon would still be the guy only totally crazy people know or care about.

Oh well, I guess we’re just going to have to settle for pain, suffering, homelessness, hopelessness, and that godawful haircut that nobody seems to have the courage to just shave off in his sleep.

Poo Poo Wins the Day
Remember an earlier edition of As the State Turns when I talked about the dairy farm in Morrow county? 30,000 head, nice view, lots of turds. Yeah, that one. Well, despite major ongoing concerns about water contamination and pollution issues, the ODA and DEQ (don’t ask what the acronyms mean, it’s highly technical) were all like “no” on the 25th, pooping out a ten-page thingymajig that shut down any efforts to get the permit reexamined.

This, of course, will lead to an eventual lawsuit that might clean up (see what I did there?) Oregon policy regarding the issuance of permits to places that have cows that crap everywhere.

That last eloquent sentence was brought to you by… eh, I can’t blame it on anyone else. It was all me.

By Johnny Beaver

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