NEWBURY — A group calling itself the Pink House Extreme Eco-Terrorists took over the abandoned federal property on the Plum Island Turnpike late last night.
Protected by barricades of salt marsh hay and large pallets of beans, rice and other foodstuffs, a woman identified only as “Foot,” speaking for PHEET, says “we are prepared to stay until our snacks run out.”
Asked if PHEET was armed, Foot made some vague reference to clam rakes, quickly adding “only as a last resort.”
Foot said PHEET demands public discussion about sea level rise, charging that key city officials were doing “nothing about climate change other than producing a lot of globally warmed air.”
Although Newbury police quickly blockaded the Turnpike — which is really a causeway, but whatever — the Fish and Wildlife Service was slow to block boat access via Plum Island Sound.
Defending the “cautionary delay,” FWS Acting Director Kilgore Trout Jr. explained that “a Sound can be navigated only by Sound science.”
During the lapse, sailboats fitted with catapults and tricked out in spinnakers for quick delivery and get-away fired numerous heavy-duty solar panels onto the site.
According to another PHEET member also known as “Foot,” electric cars and bicycles PHEET rode to the Pink House “also prove our commitment to lowering the energy footprint.”
TV news trucks — ridiculously overloaded with electronic gizmos that add absolutely nothing to the cause of conveying information but which make for glitzy nightly news — gathered near the Pink House during the first two hours of PHEET’s occupation.
However, they retreated to the Plum Island Airport — which is really on the mainland, but, hey, who’s keeping score? — when tires started sinking into incoming, low-tide mud.
“Not to worry,” Trout reassured print reporters, “this is the good season” and these tides are “just part of the normal ebb and flow.”
The second Foot, stepping in front of the first Foot, disagreed. In a thick North Shore accent, one Foot in front of the other cited what he called “king tides,” claiming that “sea level rise has already inundated the first floor.”
Although the first Foot said PHEET planned to convert the Pink House into an ornithological center to monitor bird migration, the second Foot claimed that “king tides have already made the place uninhabitable.”
Helen Highwater, the state mediator assigned to the situation, rolled her eyes: “It’s a classic case of the right foot not knowing what the left foot is doing.”
Eventually, the second Foot was overruled by “PHEET soldiers” who unanimously voted that “a steady supply of fresh water provided by solar distillation can save the Pink House.”
“Provided, of course, by solar panels,” the second Foot added in an apparent attempt to get back in PHEET’s good graces.
How a vote can save property against the sound-or-not science of Mother Nature was never explained, but both Foots cited recent social media posts of Plum Island homeowners invoking the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights against the Atlantic Ocean.
Said one Foot: “Like those wise folks who build their homes on sand, PHEET is putting its foot down on erosion.”
Highwater groaned: “I was wrong. It’s a case of dancing with two left feet.”
Meanwhile, a counter-demonstration across the Turnpike in Plum Bush Downs is calling for a high-rise tower and casino to replace the Pink House:
“Make the Marsh Great Again!” say their signs.
Asked how it might be financed, a spokesperson called “Footinmouth” started making odd faces and inexplicable hand gestures near his rhomboidal hairdo:
“Just keep funding a few key politicians while declaring bankruptcy every quarter. The glitz and glitter of sketches and comparisons to Vegas will hide all that. Investments will keep pouring in,” he laughed.
“Newbury Town Hall will go along. Place is run by builders and contractors, has been since the 80s. They’ll build anything, anywhere!” he whistled into the air.
“And let me tell ya something! The public will buy it because it’ll look good on TV, and that’s what wins the day.”
Trout exhaled in resignation: “Footinmouth may be right. Winning is all that matters now. The bottom line is the only line.”
Highwater’s response was heated: “When is this country going to get both feet on the ground? Solid ground!”
Occupy Jack Garvey, who can see the Pink House from his Plum Island window, at firstname.lastname@example.org.