Things that are Terrible About Rivers

For all the hoopla and celebration of water, we think that, sometimes, our waterways could do more for us. Read our totally reasonable and oddly specific grievances, and consider if it’s time to take rivers down a notch. We state the facts, you decide the merits.

  • They don’t provide endless water. We siphon off water to irrigate crops, hydrate cities and create power, but it turns out there isn’t always more. We hate lessons in conservation and are looking for water sources we can exploit forever.
  • The fishing is unpredictable. Rivers should keep fish in the same places, year after year. But fish move around, find new parts of the river to live in, sometimes migrating to the ocean as well, all of which is irritating for those of us trying to catch The Big One.
  • They’re inconveniently bumpy. When trying to tube or raft down a river, we are occasionally inconvenienced by shallow areas or rapids that are difficult to navigate.
  • They don’t make enough really good skipping rocks. You know, the nicely round, flat rocks that you can grip just so and are heavy enough to catch the water but light enough for serious long-distance skipping. Those. Rivers never have enough of those.
  • They aren’t self-cleaning. It turns out that what we put in them or near them stays in them and near them. And is carried downstream, spread for miles. We’d prefer not to have to clean up after ourselves.
  • They flood. We want water, but not too much water. And the fact that we consistently build in flood plains and show complete disregard for geography and weather is no reason that our buildings, farms and cities should be excessively damp in any way.
  • They host bugs that bite. Mosquitos breed in the calm, shallow water of rivers. This makes us itchy.
  • They host animals that scare us. Crocodiles and snakes, sure, but there are also piranhas, tiger fish, and snakefish, a voracious predator that can survive up to four days out of water and that we wish we could forget exists.
  • They don’t flow in straight lines. Think about how much easier it would be to establish property lines and national boundaries if rivers ran straight like pipes.
  • The rivers near Buoy Headquarters aren’t warm enough. With our ocean temperature at 53 degrees in the summer, we don’t think there’s anything weird about expecting the rivers flowing into it be a good 20 degrees warmer.
Look at the shape of these rocks. Do better than this, rivers.

Look at the shape of these rocks. Do better than this, rivers.

Do you have a bone to pick with rivers? We didn’t mention anything about rivers that freeze, dams in rivers, river vegetation, people who sneak through your property to access the river, and much more. Air your grievances in the comments below.