Inadvertently, I have become the willing spokesman for the ever silent minority; those land bound, upright homosapiens who care not to revisit the oceans and seas from whence Darwin hypothesized we came.
Assuming our position on the high ground (usually sipping a refreshing citrus and rum concoction while Bob Marley plays in the background), buffered by an endless expanse of sand and rocky beach, we scan the watery horizon for any sign of the known evils lurking beneath the surface. Amid the flotsam and jetsam of eons of maritime tragedies; mixed with the decaying squid carcasses and lifeless jellyfish remains; propelling themselves silently over reefs and through wild currents; the demons of the sea plot their evil and wait ... wait until the day the Earth is belongs to them.
I, of course, am speaking of dolphins — which much like Justin Beiber, have lured the unsuspecting masses into a false sense of calm, relying on their cuteness and perceived non-threatening demeanor to pull off this charade. Dolphins, those mega-sized sea slugs, with their beady eyes and arrogant smirk and constant chattering laughter, have something up their proverbial sleeve. That is, of course, if they cloaked themselves in a proverbial shirt. Few things are as unsettling to me as a grinning dolphin, unless you include a grinning Don Knotts (I shudder thinking about it) ... who coincidentally, was turned into a dolphin in the now classic 1964 suspense film “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.”
Now, let it be said that I am not a follower of crypto zoologists and their far-fetched beliefs, nor am I one of those nutty, reclusive conspiracy theorists. (Though I am of the opinion that in 1997 I witnessed the long suspected deceased Elvis prepping meatloaf at a Cracker Barrel in Macon, Ga.) Despite this, I’ve opined for some time now that dolphins are indeed “up to no good.” They subliminally convince us to gather in large groups at multiple Sea World locations and hand over large amounts of money for seating and merchandise, then proceed to make believable the concept that it’s the humans who’ve trained the dolphins. They jump and flip and splash, mesmerizing in their grace and agility, all the while watching us — and laughing, always laughing.
Scientists have long studied and documented the intelligence of these aquatic fiends, compiling colorful charts and multi-layered bar graphs and reams of squiggly sonic readings of their “click and whistle” language, as secretive and indecipherable as the Navajo code talkers of World War II. The consensus is that these sounds are used to signal danger, find food and keep members of the same pod in contact. But I know better. I imagine a transcript of an actual dolphin conversation would read as follows.
First dolphin: “Say, is that a tourist filled pontoon boat over there?”
Second dolphin: “You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin?”
First dolphin: “Yeah, let’s all skim the surface together, causing all the overweight amateur photographers to shift starboard and perhaps capsize the boat.”
Second dolphin: “Ooooo, OK. What fun!”
I’m betting dolphins also had a hand (or fin) in creating the additive which makes high calorie, artificially flavored snack type foods so addictive. In addition, dolphins may be responsible for recliners, player pianos, garage door openers, escalators, cars that park themselves, techno music and web dating sites. After all, a sluggish, irresponsible, semi mobile, gasping for breath, unable to think and make decisions for themselves populace would be far easier to overtake when the time for revolution comes.
So go ahead, swim in the Gulf and happily applaud when they bounce a beach ball on their snout. I’m heading for higher ground.
Chuck Mason, a self-described opinionated wiseguy, resides in Princeton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.