Pure Michigan (Syringes)

Pure Michigan (Syringes)

I spent the past weekend in awe of my beautiful home town. With hot weather, ample sunshine, and warming water, this was a weekend tailor made for a trip to Lake Geneva. As I sit and write this morning, the traffic has cleared, and the tens of thousands of vacationers who reveled in a magnificent Lake Geneva weekend have gone home. The lake today is quiet, and I love it. What amazes me about Geneva is that I love it when it’s packed full of people as well. I love the energy and the excitement, and I find that my affection towards my lovely town is the same regardless of the momentary population of visitors and vacation home owners. I spent much of the weekend working, and the rest of the weekend playing. I grilled burgers lakeside on Monday, and afterward anointed those burgers the best I’d ever made. Yes, they were extra good because I mixed in bacon fat with the chuck, and yes, I finished the burgers with a dollop of butter, and yes, my diet starts… today.

My utopic weekend was interrupted by some unfortunate radio ads that filled my car with innuendo and misinformation, and I felt that today I should help (once again) clear up some misconceptions that feel like truth when accompanied by that intoxicating Cider House Rules piano music. I am, of course, talking about our Michigan friend Tim. I must admit that I am wildly jealous of that advertising campaign. The State of Wisconsin hasn’t a clue when it comes to tourism advertising, and they could learn a few things from our Maize and Blue friends across the tumultuous, ornery pond. I hear those commercials and I assume most people listen to what they hear and take it as the hardened truth. I heard one spot where the Tool Man mentioned something about walking with friends on grass, which was fine. And then he went and said something about pure sugar sand beaches (or something like that), and it was then that I was forced to take written exception. While nice sand does exist there, I’ve read a few reports of other things that have also been found on those beaches…

“I was shocked. I mean even in the water along the break wall there’s just tons of garbage”

“Medical syringes were found on nearly every Lake Michigan beach between the Indiana border and Traverse City during a beach clean up last weekend” AP Story via Ludington Daily News

“Hundreds of pounds of household garbage has washed onto Lake Michigan shores in the past couple of days, leading to an investigation by the Coast Guard and the temporary closure of a public beach.”

A few empty syringes, tongue depressors and similar items were among the recently discovered trash. But they weren’t considered medical waste because they didn’t contain bodily fluids or tissues, said Robert McCann, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

I know, I was relieved to read that last one as well. Syringes without bodily fluid in them are totally no big deal. So if medical waste, and items that are only not termed medical waste due to a technicality, has been washing up on Michigan beaches for the better part of 20 years, what’s with all this pure Michigan talk? I love a good beach walk as much as the next guy, but when I step on a syringe my walk is usually spoiled. Regardless of whether or not there was any bodily fluid previously on the syringe or not.

While Geneva is not flanked by beaches, it is surrounded by a bucolic shore path that is easier to walk on, and decidedly syringe free. Geneva is so anti-syringe that in my 32 years of plying its waters, I’ve never seen a single syringe, nor do I ever expect to. Things that might fly in Michigan just don’t work for us here, and we prefer our swimming waters to be not only clear and refreshing, but free of rubbish of any sort.

If you’ve been lulled into a sense of vacation destination complacency by those marvelous ads, I urge you to give Lake Geneva another try. We’re friendly here, and we have an absolute zero tolerance policy when it comes to medical waste on our beaches.

Geneva Lake – syringe free since John Kinzie first dipped his weary toes into her refreshing waters in 1831- Reason #9,433,742 Lake Geneva is the place for you.

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