Of all the bad things that could have happened to Toledo--tetanus endemic, Spartacus level riots of human trafficking victims, the sudden realization of its trapped existence in north west Ohio-- succumbing to a temporary algae bloom is pretty damn good.
Because for Toledo aka Detroit Jr. aka Gary, Indiana Sr. things don't come easy. You know when you played SimCity 2000, slopping together the quickest, most half-assed development just to watch it burn beneath the evil black claw of a one-eyed monster? That's Toledo on a bad day. It's pretty much Greyhound Bus Station: The City. If it were in high school, the other cities would have voted it Most Likely to Host Ebola Catastrophe. So when the national news comes along reporting that nearly half a million people are at risk of drinking/bathing/looking at toxic water, well, that must be the previously thought impossible Toledo on a good day.
So what if the city pumped toxic water into the homes of 400,000 citizens in an over the top manner reminiscent of, like, half Ninja Turtle origin story, half Jack Nicholson era Joker plotline. Who cares if people had to wait in line because of an industrialized city's inability to meet basic needs. This is the least worst bad news possible. A sort of chest pounding declaration that only needed a little political spin to highlight the positive: 1) The city's near Fallout 3 levels of desolate post-industrialized wasteland were temporary replaced with little swallowable diarrhea inducing parks to the slightly more direct 2) "We were poisoning you, but now we aren't." Boom. Press release.
It's not like the water made itself toxic. None of this would even be possible without generations of hard working and environmentally neglectful local businesses dumping unregulated chemicals into their own drinking source. This is less a negative and more a positive reaffirmation of local industry. At the very worse, it means that even with the vast majority of the companies long gone, at least Toledo can still manufacture liver-damaging algae blooms, and if that doesn't capture the American spirit, than I don't know what will.
Because if there is one thing that Toledo deserves, it's good news. If you can believe it, there was a period when it was called The Glass City of the World for reasons 100% unrelated to rampant meth use. Those days (along with any copper plaques mentioning them) are long gone, but perhaps this is the event that will give Toledo pride. Either pride or mutants.But probably mostly mutants.
Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic follow up to "Baby Got Back" has serious unintended consequences.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.