The first family arrived on Martha’s Vineyard fully intending to avail themselves of the beach, the links and unlimited frosty licks.
According to White House spokesperson Bill Burton, it appears the President plans to have a working vacation: working out daily and working “on his swing at Mink Meadows golf club.” Burton elaborated: “There will be some hiking, some time at the beach” and, Lord knows, “some time at the ice cream store — all the sort of things you do when you’re at Martha’s Vineyard. You enjoy the people and the good food.”
Obama, who is someone used to always getting his own way, might be shocked to find out that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” It seems the Obama beachcombers are about to get waylaid, because “portions of Tisbury Great Pond, the salt-water lagoon fronting the first family’s vacation estate Blue Heron Farm, were closed earlier this week due to high levels of enterococci, an indicator that the water is contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria.”
“More than 200 Massachusetts beaches have been closed due to high bacteria readings this summer. The high counts are usually caused by sewage or storm water overflow but could also be caused by domestic or farm animals and wildlife.”
What a letdown, especially since the Blue Heron Farm, a lavish $20 million, 28.5-acre compound in Chilmark, has gone up from $35,000 a week last year to a still-economical $50,000 a week this year. An interesting point of trivia about Chilmark: the Martha’s Vineyard enclave was named the most expensive small town in all of America by Business Week back in 2007. Chilmark can now add “most expensive septic tank” to its list of distinguishing features.
The addition of bacteria to the salt-water pond bordering the Obama temporary homestead may not pose a problem for the President. It’s likely that Obama built up resistance with the gutsy plunge he took in the Gulf when vacationing in Florida. One-dunk-Barry broadcast the following Florida public service message to America: Despite the “rash of bacteria-induced beach closings,” it’s still safe to swim in “oil spill-plagued areas.”
On the other hand, it would be best if Michelle steered clear of the putrid pool. The first lady is more accustomed to the clear water of the Mediterranean in Marbella. She won’t be taking a dainty dip in a pond that failed water-quality testing because “high levels of enterococci can cause skin irritation, vomiting or diarrhea in swimmers.” Itchy skin, queasiness, and an ailment Americans should only have to endure south of the border are pesky physical maladies that could force the Obama family to do the unthinkable and limit ice cream consumption for a few days.
When speaking about the presidential pond crisis, West Tisbury health agent John Powers did not express an opinion as to whether setting up a canvas hut on the Obamas’ private beach would pose a health hazard to the First Lady.
Powers also refused to commit as to whether presidential staff should resign themselves to letting the air out of the swimmies and Obama-logo water tubes. Remaining ambiguous, Powers maintained only that, “It’s not my job to recommend or not recommend whether or not to go in the water…I just get the numbers and take the appropriate action.”
When another town official was asked “whether or not it was safe for the prez to take a dip in the pond,” this particular gentleman was a “little more informative.” The longtime Martha’s Vineyard resident, who requested anonymity, openly joked, “Depends on whether or not he likes to swim in poop.”
Was that a joke or an understatement? It should be obvious to the casual Vineyard observer that the President is quite accustomed to swimming in poop, considering that Chicago and Washington DC are the two towns he likes to call home.
“On Martha’s Vineyard, West Tisbury wasn’t the only town plagued by beach closings. Swimming was banned on four popular beaches …due to high bacteria counts,” but were “reopened yesterday after re-testing.” However, in Chilmark, where the Obamas are staying, “the pond at Lucy Vincent Beach had bacteria readings more than double the acceptable levels,” which could be an indictment against the presidential pond on Blue Heron Farm.
Although not mentioned thus far, the more likely source of contamination could be runoff from the famous Kennedy Compound. History tells us the Kennedys have been guilty of polluting a pond or two in the past, so why not now? After all is said and done, the Obama Chilmark vacation, while problematic, may just be suffering the cumulative effects of choosing a vacation spot 50 miles south of Hyannisport.