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Friday, May 19, 2006

When rats fly?

Here's an article from the KHON2 website that I originally received a link to from AR-HI (Animal Rights Hawaii). The article, titled "'Flying Rats' a health issue in Waikiki" talks about the menace of these creatures, and how the menace doesn't seem like it's going to subside anytime soon. If you're curious to find out what new 'species' is plaguing this tropical paradise then please do read the article.

But I've got news for the people who go to Waikiki, or at least the ones who seem to think that this is the biggest problem plaguing that stretch of beach. As a former resident of the state of Hawaii, albeit for a brief interlude in my life, I used to remember that very early on Waikiki beach became one of the beaches we tried to stay away from. We used to go to Kailua on the other side of the island to try and get some sun because, among other things, it was a lot quieter and there was more beach there than people on the beach. Other issues we tried to avoid by not going to Waikiki beach were the smell and the racket, to name the second and third biggest reasons. I've always liked to go to a beach and relax, and for whatever reason, the population density of three people per quare foot didn't, and still doesn't appeal to me at such times. What do I mean by smell at the beach? Well, picture this if you will: a jam-packed stretch of golden sand, about a thousand people from corner to corner taking up every square inch of real estate with their beach towels/mats/umbrellas, and several different brands of sunblock and suntan, their aromas and fragrances intermingling with all the piss the little kids and adults happen to slyly add to the waves as they gently break against the shore. Foul stuff indeed!

So, if the birds are the biggest problem at the moment, it means there's probably going to be some major drive to cull their numbers or get rid of them otherwise. Like the chickens that died meaningless deaths during the recent bird flu epidemic, these birds will probably find that they are between a rock and a hard place...as if the places they inhabited weren't hard enough. And what about the people? Well, they'll continue to add color and fragrance to the natural surroundings.

Vive la pissing in the piscine!...or should that be la mer?
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