Tuesday, 1 November 2016
Swimming with dolphins
The other day for instance I saw an elderly lady in the street; she must have been about seventy or so, hobbling from foot to foot on the edge of the sidewalk. I waited until the lights indicated it was safe to cross, and then I held her gently by the arm and said, “Don’t worry madam; we’ll soon cross over safely to the other side!”
She tottered alongside me looking behind her all the time until we reached safely the other side as the traffic lights changed again. I took off my hat as a sign of respect and smiled politely.
She then hit me on the head with her umbrella.
"You made me miss my bus, you idiot!” she yelled.
“I’m sorry madam” I said, “I saw you hopping from foot to foot hesitantly …”
“That’s because I want to go to the toilet” she hollered, “I’ve a good mind to pee in your stupid hat!”
I ran away before she did.
What's all this to do with dolphins? I hear you ask. Well, I imagine you asking, actually.
Let me tell you. Some years back we were on holiday by some seaside resort. We noticed a large sign saying "BOAT TRIPS TO SWIM WITH DOLPHINS". The notice promised that if we did not see and swim with dolphins they would refund our money.
Personally, I was not interested. I don't see the point of swimming with dolphins or with anyone else for that matter; being totally devoid of prejudice I dislike everyone and everything equally. But being considerate I agreed to go on this boat trip.
Eventually, what seemed miles from the shore, we discovered a shoal of dolphins swimming around the boat. The boatman stopped the engine and suggested people got changed into their swimming costumes and get in the water a few at a time. There were eight of us, so he suggested two groups of four.
I took my time to get changed into my swimming shorts very slowly in the hope that by the time I was ready they'd all have had their fun and it would be time to return home. No such luck.
When I got out of my cabin everyone had done their swimming except me. The dolphins were still there going back and forth by the side of the boat. The captain encouraged me to go in the water by myself. Being considerate, or stupid, I was too polite to refuse and I gingerly got down the rope ladder and into the water.
As soon as I was in the water, still holding tightly to the ladder, the "head dolphin" swam away followed by the whole shoal behind him. They were just not interested in swimming with me. Their leader must have said "We're not swimming with him. He looks weird!"
Maybe it was my after-shave lotion which put them off, or my red tartan swimming shorts, I don't know. It was very embarrassing being the only one, perhaps in the history of swimming with dolphins, to have the dolphins refuse to swim with him.
They all left not to be seen again.
To make matters worse, the captain brought out an inflatable rubber dolphin which he lowered in the water for me to hang on to and swim with.
As soon as it reached the water it must have come in contact with something sharp on the edge of the boat and it exploded with a loud bang. Everyone on the boat laughed.
The loud noise must have disturbed a stray dolphin which was still floating around. He came up fast behind me and somehow grabbed my swimming shorts, tearing them off me, as he swam away with the remnants in its mouth.
The captain told me to get on the boat quickly before the angry dolphin returns and attacks me.
I had no time to think of my modesty as I got out of the water to the sound of applause and wolf-whistles and hoots of laughter.
I hate dolphins.
At least I’m not stupid enough to get entangled in fishing nets and get mistaken for a tuna fish.
I also hate cell-phones which take photos.