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Or More

Today's Idiocracy Prize for Journalistic Ineptitude goes to a story in the Times's Metro Section, "Where Beachcombers Should Proceed With Caution," by Jill A Capuzzo, who must share the award with her editors. This is a story about Jersey beaches that will be opening over the Memorial Day weekend, thank God, because the Army Corps of Engineers has dug up all the explosives. Hopefully.

"We've always discouraged deep holes; nothing will change," Mayor Huelsenback said. "Kids can use their shovels and pails. As for metal detectors, we would discourage people from trying to look for these things."

Explosives, you ask? Why are Jersey beaches littered with explosives? Here's the one-sentence explanation, which I think merits a pie in somebody's face.

Believed to have been dumped off the sides of ships sometime during World War I, the discarded military munitions lay on the ocean floor for 90 years or more, according to Mr Follett.

It's the "or more" that had me calling for the nurse. This sentence is the story. Who the hell was dumping "military munitions" off "the sides of ships" off the coast of New Jersey "during World War I"?

In the meantime, I encourage everyone with a metal detector to head for Surf City ("there's a person named Eunice?") and try out for a much more prestigious award than I can bestow: the Darwin.


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