Piece Comment

Review of Victoria Secretes

"In a nutshell, Victoria is the genteel tourist town that poops in the ocean."

I'm not sure which is the more satisfying aspect of this report -- the appearance by Mr. Floaty, the seven-foot turd with the sailor's cap and the Mr. Bill singing voice, or the discovery that, for once, someone has found a batch of Canadians who appear to be more environmentally careless than Americans. This is a thorough, well-reported and unusually entertaining feature about a policy dispute over municipal sewage. Reporter John Ryan has good (fecal) material to work with and he makes the most of it. There are momentary lapses into scientific journalese: "...source control is not a long term solution for ocean-bound toxic waste...." But for the most part, Ryan's lively tape and dryly witty writing get the job done. The closing "endangered feces" line is a genuine groaner, but truly, who among us could have resisted?