It's not every day I witness a few hundred pounds of paper (like over 20,000 sheets) float in the sky.
I call it that WTF moment.
It looked like a massive hail storm. For some reason, I thought it came from the back of a rental pontoon boat. At the same time, the boat police went charging off sirens blasting in the opposite direction. Quickly, I jumped into my kayak (fully dressed) and, for the first time in months, didn't tip over. With speed, I pedaled into the middle of the lake where over 20,000 sheets of paper dropped down and sunk in one fell swoop. I found one paper barely floating and picked it up with an oar.
I placed the sodden clump of paper carefully in the kayak behind me and rowed back to shore where I let it dry in the sun.
It was a flyer for a Hasidic event which already took place two weeks' prior. The back of my head blew up. I dialed the Sheriff's office.
"What's going on here?" I asked. "I just saw THOUSANDS of papers dumped into the lake. Perhaps from the back of a pontoon boat." I had no idea where they came from. "I saw the boat police, but he went elsewhere."
"I'll have him contact you."
In a minute, the boat police drove over to my dock. I knew this officer.
"I can't believe this," he cried out. "That plane -"
He stared at me for a second and said, "Oh. Right. I forgot. You've that weird deafness."
I never heard a plane. That's what's so quirky about my hearing. I can hear a butterfly hiccup from two miles away, but I didn't hear the passenger side rear tire blow up while driving nor a tree falling on my house while inside. Now this, a plane.
He said, "They must've tossed tens of thousands of paper."
"Quite a few hundred pounds," I insisted. I know paper. As a writer, I subsist on paper. You've no idea how many times I had to print out my books to make sure of my revisions. 500 sheets is 5lbs. Without exaggeration, they must've dumped at least 20,000 sheets. That's 200lbs of garbage. Great.
He continued. "This was planned. Let me tell you why. First, he kept flying around in circles over the lake, lower and lower. At one point, I thought he was gonna crash. Then, he must've planned this because he dumped the papers over the rental pontoon boats. Twice." I groaned. "I didn't get the tail number from the plane, it was blocked with something over it so there's nothing the FAA can do."
Afterwards, I phoned the Sheriff's office and said, "I'll do anything about finding out who did this." I don't like when people dump garbage into the lake where I live. Jettisoning marketing material for a Hasidic event in a non-Hasidic community is quite startling, illegal and dangerous. The pontoon boats nearly crashed into each other trying to avoid being pelted by paper. Then, I phoned a Town Board official who told me he'll notify the Mayor.
And this is where the fun and games started. One Board official worked non-stop contacting everyone to remedy the situation or at least to get the culprits fined or jailed. To no avail.
Turns out the DEC, FAA and all sorts of triple lettered government agencies have no problem that someone hired a plane, hiding the tail numbers, to dump garbage into a New York State lake. In fact, according to environmentalists, it was okay to toss anything biodegradable into the lake.
Now I know how to save $2.50 a week from garbage fees. I'll just toss whatever's biodegradable into the lake in front of me. If it's okay to toss paper from a plane, well...
A note to NYCidiots: Have you considered the source of your water supply, from where you buy your vegetables, fruits, eggs, dairy, meat and poultry, cheese and those lovely organic baked products? Then again, have you ever thought about fracking as well in the Marcellus Shale? THAT'S HERE!
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