June 13, 2010

La Vache qui Flotte

We’re at the beach, right?
The kids are inflating their rubber boat (which won’t make it intact past the first rock, but never mind that, it will sure save you dragging it back all the way home again), the moms are applying the oils and sunscreens and what not and the dads are dragging parasols around.
Kids are playing in the sand or splashing water, the adults are gracefully bobbing around in the water.
It’s a wonderful day to be out on the beach. All of Beirut must have thought this; the beach is packed!
And then, what do we see in the distance? Something’s afloat. What’s that thing bobbing around, moving right into our private little bay?
It seems everybody has spotted it now. What, o what, could it be? We’re all curious.
It’s white and black.
Mom, there’s a cow in the water!”
“Oh really, well, cows get warm too.”
“No, it’s a dead cow
!!”

A dead cow. Oh yes, of course. Why not? I tell you, how do you get an entire beach to leave the water in a split second? If you would have yelled ‘shark!” you couldn’t have done it any faster. But ‘dead cow on the horizon’, that sure does it.
They brought in a boat to tow it out of our private little bay. I bet they released it just a bit further, so it can float peacefully to the next beach. The current goes northwards. But that pretty much was it for the beach day. Everyone was lining up at the showers, and home they went. It didn’t matter; it was the end of the day anyway. And I remember thinking that yesterday I heard on Euronews that for the first time the quality of swim water in Europe has gone up rather than down. Right now in Europe, in 96% of the places where they’ve checked, the water met the minimum requirements for swimming. They specifically checked for ‘fecal matter’. I guess cows don’t fall under ‘fecal matter’.

It didn’t bother me one bit. I thought it was a lovely day at the beach.

5 comments:

angie nader said...

i wish i was at a beach right now...minus the cow

Dani said...

Wow..that is ummm something else! I'm surprised the cow floated that far..and didn't sink! And to think they just threw it back in the ocean for someone else to deal with..NASTY!

Gabriel said...

Actually, Lebanese Civil Defense took care of it -- they certainly didn't throw it back in the sea!

Francine said...

La vache qui flotte. Perhaps it came from gaza, no cattle allowed there...
Mind you, cattle food is.

borrel said...

That cow was thrown overboard from one of the many animal transport ships that bring cows from Europe to be slaughtered in Beirut. They are underfed, dehydrated, suffer broken limbs and disease. A percentage of the animals die onboard and are thrown overboard to save time when unloading. These animals suffer terribly both under way and when being loaded and unloaded. When not being prodded with electric prongs, the favorite way of "coaxing" them to go the right way in the port of Beirut is to stick a finger in each of their eyes and haul them along. Cruelty to animals is rampant in this country and the animal transport business is one of the worst with no controls whatsoever.