The old joke was that if you peed in a pool, everyone would know you’re the culprit because the water around you would turn yellow.
Well, in Colorado this weekend, it looks like the entire population took a gigantic piss in the Animas River. As in, it looks like they all spent their morning drinking 100 gallons of water, and then ate a buffet that only consisted of asparagus, and then poured yellow dye into their stream as they unleashed it into the river.
The images are surreal.
The story goes that the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal agency that exists to protect the environment (if you couldn’t figure that out by its name) accidentally caused this by uncorking an ancient mine, and unleashing millions of gallons of contaminants into the water.
So in this metaphor, it’s the EPA that peed. Hard.
But we shouldn’t call for their heads just yet. Reportedly, the agency has been urging for federal funding for years to clean up the site, claiming that the contaminants were slowly seeping into the water on its own, and accidentally caused the mess while they were trying to fix it themselves. Call it a case of good intentions gone completely wrong.
The yellow is supposedly gone now, but the contaminants are still flowing down the river, which goes into Utah and New Mexico, so we will not know for a while what the long term effects are.
But just look at that yellow water. I stole that picture from Wired, who got it from some publication called the Zuma Press, so if I ever become famous enough to be sued for it, I’ll be thrilled.
As for the brave souls that decided to kayak in it, that’s their own adventure. They take thrill seeking to an entirely new level.
Just looking it makes me have to pee. And I want to blast the Coldplay song “Yellow” while I do it. While peeling a banana. And watching Spongebob Squarepants. In a Big Bird costume.
That’s all the yellow I got.
But yellow doesn’t always get its moment in the spotlight. It’s kind of the forgotten color of the rainbow. It’s in the “bitch seat” on a traffic light. And most children draw the sun with an orange crayon. So let’s acknowledge the devastating and powerful abilities of this underappreciated color.
And if there’s ever been a safer time to pee in the Animas River, it’s right now. Knock yourself out, Colorado.