Ever Given

For some reason, I find the current fate of the cargo ship Ever Given very humorous. It is stuck sideways in the Suez Canal and screwing up ship traffic more than ship traffic has ever been screwed up, with ships backed up into the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and some near the back of the line have just turned around and decided to take the long, old route around the southern tip of Africa.
In a way, it reminds me of a couple years back when those boys got stuck in a cave in Thailand, and the whole world was focused on what was essentially an engineering problem. But, this time everybody is above ground and fatalities, or even serious injuries, are unlikely.
I’m sure it’s the worst experience of that captain’s career, and the crew is probably not having a lot of fun, either – Egypt is a nice place, I quite enjoyed it when I was there, but outside of a couple big cities and four or five major tourist sites, it is mostly sand and desolation. And, where the ship broke down is most definitely one of the desolate parts.
But, for most of us, it’s a funny situation. It’s like a traffic jam, which all of us understand, but with ships, so that’s funny, because on the open ocean there is so, so much space between them, and this kind of thing has never happened before.
When a traffic jam happens on land, even if it’s the worst accident imaginable, say a collision between a Greyhound Bus and a big-ass 18 wheeler which leaves both of them on their sides, and blocking all lanes of traffic. They’ll call out the heavy equipment and have both vehicles pulled off the road within a couple of hours. But this, they say, may take weeks to clear. (It could also be floated free by tomorrow)
The whole situation does, I suppose, point up the weakness of our planet-wide infrastructure, and we have to find ways of dealing with that, but it’s funny, too.

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