Friday, January 20, 2006

A Whale of an Idea!

Well, there are whales wandering London. Apparently this is rare, and I have no trouble figuring out why. The British are terrible hosts. This poor whale shows up, does a bit of bumping around during the day (probably recovering from the famed London nightlife) and suddenly he's public enemy number one. They're trying to shoo him away like Prince Harry from a masquerade.

I don't get it. The whale is apparently mature, more than capable of making it's own decisions, and apparently it's come along way for his European vacation. Why can't we let the poor beast be? British marine biologist Paul Hale, who is most renowned for his work on the sometimes subtle relationship betwixt fish & chips and the effects when humans introduce vinegar to the equation, said, "Getting that to do anything it doesn't want to is going to be extremely difficult...It's not going to go anywhere it doesn't want to so we have to persuade it to swim back out." Well, Paul, you've just said it doesn't go anywhere it doesn't want to, so here's a whale of an idea, why not leave it the 'ef alone?

So their are boats trailing the thing and people lined up to chase it away if it gets to close to anything, and while the whale is, "Quite healthy and quite relaxed, "everyone is worried that they might, "Stress the animal out."

OK, first off, I understand the concern, but as monarch of six of seven seas, let me assure you, whales have been plying the Ocean Sea for literally decades. They've figured this stuff out. I know everybody worries about whales beaching themselves, but for every whale that beaches it self, like eight or nine don't. Can't we give this beleagured leviathon the benefit of the doubt.

I know you JAFOs (for those of you who have not read the essential tome by Hodgeman The Areas of My Expertise: Just Another F'ing Air Breather) tend to dismiss the work of we aquatic folk, but I've consulted famed merman biologist Finn Damptrousers (interesting window to my undersea world: While you might call Finn a "marine bioligist" we simply call him a biologist. Were he to study "land cows," dry Earth cousins of the manatee, we would call him a "land biologist").

In his seminal work, How Not to Stress Out a Bottlenosed Whale, Finn says, "First off, don't follow the whale around in a rubber raft shooting it wary glances. They find that really stressfull. Secondly, if a bottlenosed whales arrive on holiday, please don't develop contingency plans to shoo them back to sea. This makes them feel like unwanted guests and feeling like an unwanted guest is really stressy for bottlenosed whales. Finally, if bottlenosed whales gets close to stuff, don't wallop them with oars and the like. They really hate that. Avoid these three key faux pax, and you will have a whale so stress free, you'll be heard pressed to tell he's not Wavy Gravy." (Interestingly, that's the entire book. Merman books rarely exceed seven sentences and most novels take the form of a short exclamatory phrase. The average merman publishes tens of thousands of books a year. Wierdly, mermaid books [like mermaid speach] are remarkably verbose prattiling on and on until mermen's eyes glaze over and they think abou jumping onto a bridge.)

All these sea huggers lament the fact that the ranges and numbers of these animals are declining, so what's the response when they show up? "Holy Christ! Some fool heardy whale has swam into the river? We've got to save it! Smack it with your oar 'til he heads back to sea!"

What I'm saying is, just once can't somebody say, "Oh, a whale has showed up, aren't we lucky? You know, whales used to come here all the time, but have mysteriously vanished from these waters." Instead of, "Ack! A misguided cetacean! What the heck is he doing there, swiming around like that! Somebody tie a firehose to his tale and drag him out to sea before he becomes too stressed!


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