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Welcome to Storyline Online, brought to you by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
I'm Justin Theroux, and today I will be reading Here Comes the Garbage Barge!
Written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Red Nose Studio.
Garbage. Big, heaping, stinking mounds of garbage.
Big bags of garbage on the sidewalk. Garbage trucks overflowing with garbage.
Landfills reaching up to the heavens with more and more garbage, garbage, garbage!
Did you know that the average American makes about four pounds of garbage every day?
Well, a while back, in the town of Islip, the average person made seven pounds of garbage every day.
Islip is a little town on Long Island, right near New York City, and Islip had a problem: garbage!
To be exact: 3,168 tons of garbage. And nowhere to put it.
Enter the Garbage Barge!
See, this guy in the garbage business named Gino Stroffolino came up with a brilliant plan:
A garbage barge would carry the Long Island garbage down to North Carolina.
Mr. Stroffolino had a friend there, Joey LaMotta.
"Everything is arranged," Joey'd told him. "You bring me dat garbage-- I'll take care of it."
Some poor farmers would be paid to take the garbage and bury it on their farms. Clever, huh?
So on March 22, 1987, all 3,168 tons of garbage was loaded up.
Then a little tugboat named the Break of Dawn began its long journey south, tugging the rusty old Garbage Barge behind it.
The Break of Dawn was a happy little tugboat. Her captain and crew was Cap'm Duffy St. Pierre, a crusty old sailor.
Together they tugged the Garbage Barge down the East Coast of America.
"Toot toot," said the tugboat as it entered the harbor at Morehead City, North Carolina.
North Carolina. Land of sand dunes and pine trees, of Bar-B-Que and mountains and basketball...
Smelling something strange, two old sisters who lived on the beach ran out and got their binoculars.
"Look!" said Miss Alma McTiver. "It's garbage!"
"In our beautiful harbor?" said Miss Ida McTiver. "What the hairy heck? That ain't right! Call the law!"
So a police boat went out to greet the Garbage Barge. It wasn't a friendly greeting.
"You can't park that garbage in our harbor!"
"I've got orders to dock here and I'm gonna follow 'em!" cried Cap'm Duffy.
"I'm afraid you can't do that," said the policeman.
"Well, blow me down..." said Cap'm Duffy, scratching his whiskers. And he radioed his boss.
"They don't want our garbage," Cap'm Duffy said to Gino Stroffolino. "Where's that fella who was supposed to meet me?"
"Joey had a little accident," said Mr. Stroffolino. "Just stay put while I make a coupla calls."
But the minutes turned into hours turned into days-- just Cap'm Duffy with a barge full of garbage. It wasn't much company.
Finally, Mr. Stroffolino's voice came through on the radio. "Bring dat garbage down to New Orleans," he said.
"I know dis guy-- Tony Cafone. He'll take it."
"Well, let those saints go marchin' in!" shouted Cap'm Duffy. See, New Orleans was his hometown.
Surely folks back home would be happy to see him and his big load of garbage.
"Ahoy!" he called as they came within view of the city. "Hard a-starboard! Thar she blows!"
New Orleans. Birthplace of jazz, home of blackened redfish and streets filled with music, friendly faces, streetcars, garbage...
The mayor could see the Garbage Barge way off on the horizon. News of the wandering garbage had already reached him.
"We've got enough of our own trash," he told his staff. "Call the coast guard!"
The coast guard arrived just in time to stop the Garbage Barge from making its way up the mighty Mississippi.
"Shiver me timbers," moaned Cap'm Duffy. "You can't do this to a hometown boy!"
"Oh, yes we can," cried the coast guard. What could Cap'm Duffy say?
"All righty then. Full speed backwards!" he ordered himself. "Aye-aye, Cap'm," he answered.
And, at dusk, the Break of Dawn and the tired old Garbage Barge began their sad journey back out to sea.
There they were-- floating out in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. This was getting ridiculous.
Would no one take this garbage (which, by the way, was really starting to stink)?
Cap'm Duffy radioed his boss.
"Okay," said Gino Stroffolino. "Dere's dis guy down in Mexico-- he owes me a favor. Goes by da name of John Smith. I'll tell him you're coming."
"All righty, then," Cap'm Duffy grumbled. "Southward ho."
Mexico. Land of enchantment, of enchiladas and folk art, of swaying palm trees and moonlit beaches...
News of the floating garbage barge had arrived before Cap'm Duffy.
As the Garbage Barge approached Telchac Puerto, it was surrounded by the Mexican Navy.
"¡Váyase!" came a voice through a loudspeaker. "¡Rápido!" (That means "Get moving fast!" in Spanish.)
These guys had guns. Cap'm Duffy had no choice. He turned his little tugboat around and, schlumped across the wheel, he headed back out to sea.
"Where next?" the captain asked Mr. Stroffolino.
"Belize," said Mr. Stroffolino. "It's a country. Next to Mexico. I know dis guy-- Rico D'Amico."
Belize. Land of bananas, of beautiful coral reefs, tropical flowers, and colorful birds...
Pictures of the garbage barge had been on the local news. Cap'm Duffy had almost reached the dock when he saw a line of soliders waving their arms.
"Kungo!" they shouted. (Roughly translated, that means "Fuhgeddaboudit!")
Six weeks had passed since the Garbage Barge had set out, and the garbage was getting really funky.
Nobody wanted it. And of course they didn't! It was somebody else's six-week-old garbage!
Cap'm Duffy radioed Mr. Stroffolino once again. "I can't take it anymore! I quit!"
"Okay, okay," said Mr. Stroffolino. "Take da garbage back to Long Island. But I gotta coupla places you could try along da way."
Texas. The Lone Star State, home of cowbodys, cacti, cadillacs, and oil-- black gold, they call it...
The Garbage Barge arrived in the harbor near Houston only to find some Texas Rangers in speedboats shaking their heads "No!"
Next stop, Florida.
The Sunshine State. Home of alligators, beautiful beaches, oranges, and grandparents...
The Garbage Barge was not welcome.
By now, the Garbage Barge was famous. It had been on TV and in the headlines of all the papers. Comedians even told jokes about it.
But as Cap'm Duffy and the Break of Dawn tugged it into New York Harbor, they were a sad sight.
Cap'm Duffy's mouth hung open. The little tugboat forgot to toot.
And the Garbage Barge looked the saddest-- and smelled the smelliest-- of all.
"Well, me mateys, here we are, back where we began," Cap'm Duffy sighed as his two boats finally pulled into Islip's harbor.
But guess what? Islip had seen this coming. They refused to take the garbage.
And the garbage was not welcome anywhere on Long Island or in New Jersey or in New York City, either.
For a whole summer, Cap'm Duffy and his little tugboat tugged the garbage around New York. What else could they do?
"Look mom!" kids would say. "Here comes the Garbage Barge!"
As the summer days got hotter, the garbage grew beyond stinky. Someone had to take it-- they just had to.
Then, at last... "Good news!" said Gino Stroffolino when he radioed the tired old captain.
"Here's da deal: Brooklyn's gonna take dat garbage and burn it. A judge told 'em dey had to. See, dey got dis 'incinerator.'"
"Aye-aye," mumbled Cap'm Duffy.
And on September 1, 1987, 162 days after the Garbage Barge had first set out, it reached its final harbor.
Brooklyn. Former home of the Dodgers, current home of synagogues and mosques and greasy diners with breakfast specials...
3,168 tons of garbage was unloaded by cranes, put onto trucks, and hauled to the incinerator.
It burned for hours, and when it was done, it only weighed 430 tons.
Then it was hauled off and buried in a landfill in Islip. The town had been forced by the judge to take back what was left of its stinking garbage.
Justice!
The Break of Dawn and Cap'm Duffy were free to go back to New Orleans. As they steered out to sea, people waved and took pictures.
"It's a fair wind and open sea, me hearties!" the crusty old captain shouted, and he patted the tugboat on its wheel.
Together they had traveled over 6,000 miles, tugging the unloved Garbage Barge. It was time to go home.
The end.
So the moral of the story is don't make so much garbage, guys.
And if you do make garbage, don't try and get other people to clean it up for you.
'Cause all that garbage has to go somewhere.
Thank you for watching Storyline Online. Make sure to check out all of our stories.
Keep watching and keep reading.
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Here Comes the Garbage Barge read by Justin Theroux

244 タグ追加 保存
Emon 2019 年 6 月 20 日 に公開
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