Sunday, August 1, 2010

needles in the sand: a photo essay

That's right. Needles.

Last week I was on vacation in Gulf Shores, AL. A place I was sure would be less of a get-away and more of a first-hand-encounter-of-the-BP-oil-spill. I wasn't disappointed. The double red flags were up, meaning people should stay out of the water for their own safety. Some people ignored them, and nobody came back from the ocean covered in sludge, looking like the bad guy from Ferngully.

On our third or fourth day at the beach, I decided it might be a good idea to actually go to the beach. It would be too weird to drive six hours and never touch sand. So we walked on the beach. I tried to avoid the water, imagining it would strip away the skin from my foot, but it was warm and inviting. Damn your enticing refreshment, ocean!

A ways down the beach a construction crew was working on a new complex, and we slowed down to look at it. Then Ryan and my mom glance down,

and find this:
That's right. That's a USED SYRINGE. In the sand. In the sand in which we are walking barefoot.
So naturally, Mom tries to do the right thing and safely dispose of it.

A port-o-potty is probably not the best place.

and then the trucks came...

Mom makes the handoff. I feel kinda like a private investigator snapping pictures of dirty dealings...

And the guys are pros- they plop it into an empty water bottle and throw it in the trash. End of needle scare. Or it should have been. But when you see a needle in the sand, you start imagining them all over the place- and every step is like tiptoeing through a mine field. A mine field of needles. But they're only imagined needles, so there are no foot punctures or AIDS. Only intense psychological trauma and newly-formed sand anxiety.

Thanks, Orange Beach, AL!

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