The MoatIt's a tradition at Tampa to have the moat race every year, which includes a bunch of kids (there was one oddly placed grown-up this year, however; probably the tough economic times) running through the trench out front in a race for product. The masses all file out of the park to enjoy the madness and line up along the stagnant sh*t water. It's horrible. For example, as I was in the slaughterhouse line on the way out, feeling like a corralled pig, I heard some dude say, "It's nasty, man. I heard there's mercury in there."
Outside, people were surrounding the thing. Everybody was downing their Red Bulls and Gatorades and tossing whatever garbage they could find into the still swamp water. It definitely wasn't a testament to environmentalism, but it was one hell of a spectacle. One guy, who looked like he had been on a bender for the last three days (because that's pretty much what Tampa is), even went to the length of puking his stomach's contents into the moat to further belittle the contestants. On the bridge, a group of kids had their shirts off, preparing themselves mentally and physically for their boot camp bullsh*t river race. One runner even had a number Sharpied on his back to rep his crew, I guess.
When the thing started on the other side of a bridge, the putrid contents of the spill off water was released in an odor you could almost hold in your hands it was so thick. It was something like the stink of a sulfur fart and a metallic smell of a foundry. The dudes all mucked themselves up real bad and panted their way through the knee to waist high water for the golden prizesa board and wheels and some other schwag.
One poor kid got a cut on his back. I was relieved when I came out after the race finished to see he had hosed himself off and had a medic clean the cut. I'm pretty certain you could get a horrible, horrible disease from that detritus, mercury and vomit-filled water. Just another day at Tampa.Josh Brooks
To see more pics of the madness, click below.