Forecast calls for swimmer’s itch
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
A study recently done by a group of UBC scientists showed that all beach water in the Greater Vancouver area is actually just human urine.
“People always debate which beach is the cleanest, with oil tankers, pleasure crafts, and seaplanes in close proximity to popular swimming areas,” head researcher Carly Johnston told Other Press reporters. “What most citizens don’t know is that none of that matters, since the ‘water’ at the beach is completely urine.”
Is this a recent phenomenon?
“No, it’s nothing new,” Johnston said. “People have been peeing in the ocean since the beginning of time. It’s easier and less gross than using the beach bathrooms, which are always covered in sand and greatly resemble a washroom in a maximum-security prison. The ocean, as we now know it, is the accumulation of thousands and thousands of people who are too lazy to walk up the beach and use the porta-potty.”
But how do fish and other aquatic animals manage to survive?
“We don’t know,” Johnston said. “Nobody knows. Sometimes science is just too vast to know all of the answers.”
Sociologist Peter Kinsey had some insight into the phenomenon of what makes the ocean such a peeing free-for-all.
“Something about the beach and the mentality surrounding it kind of dissolves the rules of modern society,” Kinsey said. “That’s why so many people wear bucket hats and openly play country music the closer they are to any body of water. Anything goes.”
Reporters spoke to beachgoers at Jericho, Kitsilano, and Spanish Banks Beach to get their input on the recent findings.
“It doesn’t surprise me,” Gerry Irby told press. “I’m disgusting, and I’ve been peeing in the ocean ever since I’ve been old enough to swim. In fact, you’re all lucky that that’s all I do in there.”
“I’m actually a purist who’s only ever peed in large bodies of water,” Jim Sheffield said. “Mostly beaches, but I did a brief stint in rivers and lakes during my wild college years. A man’s gotta cut loose every now and again, you know?”
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation issued a statement following the research team’s findings.
“Though this seems like a groundbreaking discovery, it’s really nothing to be alarmed about,” Park Board commissioner Tessa Martin said. “Some back alleys in Gastown and Chinatown are actually 80 percent urine. Pee plays a large part in our city’s foundation. To say nothing about what goes on in Delta.”
What’s the best course of action for the discerning beachgoer?
“Just try not to think too much about it,” Johnston said. “And urine is an antiseptic after all. Enjoy the sunshine and the ‘water,’ and try not to dunk your head. We also recommend burning your hair and clothing after each seaside excursion.”
Johnston declined to comment on what Trout Lake water consists of.
“That’s classified,” she said.