By Labcoat Larry
“Larry, there is no going back if Apocalypse Fields dumps that nitrite in the lake,” Cindy said. “It will kill all the fish and turtles, and it will take YEARS for the ecosystem to go back to normal. We can’t let this happen. We’re going to have to call in someone with the power to stop this NOW.”
“Who can we call?” I asked.
“We’re going to call the Environmental Protection Agency,” Cindy said.
“But what about your protest?” I asked.
“Protests are powerful Larry,” she said. “They’re so important to change people’s minds and make the world a better place. But in an emergency, and this is an emergency, you’ve got to find a way to stop something bad from happening right away. That’s what we’re going to do.”
Cindy reached for my phone and dialed up the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.
She told the person on the other side of the line what’s going on, why it’s such an emergency, and with a couple more “Uh-huhs” and “Yes, ma’ams,” she hung up.
“They’re on their way!” she screeched, happy to have a big powerful organization like the EPA come to her rescue.
“Let’s go back and see how the protest is coming,” she said.
We raced back to the gate of the Apocalypse Fields factory.
The protest had gotten larger while we were gone. The TV news had broadcast the protest, and more and more people had gathered to show their support.
We got there just in time for an exciting turn of events.
Silently, the front door of the factory opened. We watched a man in a suit walk casually down the walkway to the front gate where we were all standing.
Everyone got quiet. I could hear the wind blowing and the birds calling … it was almost silent.
The gravel walkway crunched under his hard-soled dress shoes.
He stopped at the gate. Only iron bars stood between us.
“My name is Jim Johnson, and I’m the president of Apocalypse Fields. I’ve been watching you kids, and I must say, I’m impressed by your protest. BUT … this is a business. We’re in the business of making money, not saving the environment.”
“So we’re going to do whatever we want with the land we’ve purchased at the lake, and there’s nothing you can do to stop us. So you all may as well go home!”
“BOOOOOOOO,” erupted by the now-angry crowd. How dare this guy just NOT CARE about ruining our lake?
Just then, three big white trucks with the letters EPA painted on the sign pulled up fast and slammed to a stop.
A man got out of the truck and yelled to Jim Johnson:
“Jim Johnson! We’re here from the Environmental Protection Agency, and we know all about your plan to dump nitrite in the lake – which is a violation of environmental protection laws. We are ordering you to stop this plan now!”
The crowd cheered!
Jim Johnson turned his back and went huffing back into the factory with the EPA people right on his heels.
He was angry his plan had been foiled, but we were ecstatic! We had saved the lake!
Now Bass Louie and his friends would be safe, and the lake would be beautiful for swimming, fishing, and enjoying!
A week later, Cindy and I went to visit Bass Louie and talk about their big win.
“I’m so happy that we were able to save the lake,” Cindy said. “All those people coming together to help really made me feel amazing. It’s so great when people care!”
“But what about your protest, Cindy?” Bass Louie asked. “Are you disappointed that you weren’t able to stop Apocalypse Fields with just the protest?”
“No!” Cindy said. “Calling in the EPA was the right thing to do, because this was an emergency.”
“AND our protest DID do some good,” she said. “It brought attention to the bad things Apocalypse Farms is up to. Last I heard, all the stores in town have taken all Apocalypse Fields products off the shelves.”
“Maybe that will teach Jim Johnson and his greedy company a lesson – You mess with the environment, and nobody will want to buy your products!” I said.
“You all really showed Jim Johnson,” Bass Louie said. “I’m so proud of all of you. Now I can’t wait for you to tell your dad that AGAIN – you were right and he was wrong!”