So. I live near Lake Merritt, the so-called "jewel" of Oakland. (It's nice, all right, but for a jewel, it has more than its fair share of goose shit.) Nonetheless, I love the lake. Love walking around it, running around it, have even been known to paddleboat on it. The one thing I can't imagine doing on it is actually touching the water. I was upset, therefore, a few months ago when I saw two parents standing on the sandy/goose-infested beach by the bandstand urging a small child in water wings -- presumably their offspring -- to go swimming. Horrifying. I considered calling child services.
Anyway, all that is neither here nor there. What I really wanted to write about is a mystery of Lake Merritt: Today, Peter and I were driving past it and we caught sight of a floating platform in the middle of the lake (itself a strange sight) with an outhouse sitting on it. Yes. Floating platform with outhouse, moored in the middle of Lake Merritt.
I do not understand what is going on. True, tomorrow is the yearly "Lake Merritt Rowing Club Regatta," so presumably the outhouse is for the race officials. But come on, people. It is not like Lake Merritt is the San Francisco Bay. That platform is within view of actual park service bathrooms -- how was it possibly worth renting an outhouse, attaching it to a dock, and pulling the dock into the middle of the lake? Very, very strange.
This is up there with the time when we saw a ten pound fish -- clearly not the sort that usually populates the lake (I think anything over a pound might die from contamination) -- floating dead in the water. Did it get swept in from the bay? Did a fish monger in Chinatown dump the day's leftovers? Was it a beloved pet? Unclear. But at least fish are *supposed* to be floating in the water. Port-o-potties? Not so much.