Oregon Coast (Reuteres) – It is an unseasonably warm day, in a small town just south of Portland. A grove of beachfront orange trees planted in 2010 fill the air with their fragrant bouquet. But today a new scent is on the wind: blubber. The first whale juicing plant on the West Coast has opened, capable of producing up to 100 barrels of oil a day.
Plant Supervisor Gary Dumlick surveys the beach. “Here comes a fresh batch.” he says, as the waves carry in a sickly clutch of whales, which then shortly begin to convulse on the sand. Workers quickly lash the mammals and tow them inland. “You know, we were certified as a source of green energy by the government because we are using one hundred percent beached whales, unlike the Japanese.”
Green, environmentally friendly oil isn’t the only benefit of the whale juicing plant. Over the past few years, the seabird populations along the coast have been decimated. Mysterious, unfathomable changes in the ocean currents apparently have had the effect of baking ocean plankton into an inedible crust, and plankton is at the root of the food chain.
To combat this, formerly unemployed Oregonians have been given bird tending jobs due to the President Rice Full Employment Act of 2008. Cheeks loaded up with minute chunks of blubber from the whale juicing plant, swimmers make their way out to nesting grounds where they spit the nutritious food out for the birds.
“It is dangerous work,” says Dumlick, “we’ve lost three swimmers this month. But it sure beats mining coal, or living in the Phoenix slums. I just worry what will happen when we run out of whales. Seems like no one is thinking that far ahead.”
That day may come, but for now, Gary Dumlick drives around town in his refurbished Hybrid Jeep with a “Powered By Blubber” bumper sticker, and prospects look bright for the local community. Perhaps even now the waves are washing ashore another dying whale, grist for the mill.