Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Flabby Flipper Flubs Flips

Dolphins at a Japanese marine park have gained weight on a high-mackerel diet and are not up to snuff in performance, so are on a diet.

Which reminds me of a favorite true story from my navy days. On a voyage on USS Wainwright (CG-28) in the Gulf of Mexico, it was common for us to see dolphins sporting around the ship. One morning three of us were watching the dolphins perform: myself, an African-American sailor named Sam, and our supervisor, Petty Officer Duda. We were bullshitting in the usual fashion when suddenly Sam said, "You know, I can tell the male dolphins from the female dolphins."

We looked at him dubiously. He continued, "Really. I can. Watch." He then began pointing to various dolphins, identifying one as male, another as female, and so on. After pointing out a half-dozen or so we asked the question he was apparently waiting for: "Sam, just how do you tell which is which?"

Sam explained: "Well, it's simple. The dicks on the males drags in the water, so they can't jump as high. See that one?" (pointing at dolphin) "That's a male, he's only jumping out about halfway. Now that one," he continued, pointing at another dolphin, "is a girl dolphin. See how she jumps clean out of the water? She don't have no cock dragging in the water."

We absorbed this bit of information for a minute or so, then Petty Officer Duda suddely gestured with his coffee cup and exclaimed, "Look! A black dolphin!" We looked, and saw a fin barely cut the water. "Yeah, he couldn't even get out of the water at all," Duda continued. "His cock must be this long!" he concluded, gesturing with his arms. Much hilarity ensued, with spraying of coffee and other effects. The story got around the ship within hours, and spread to our home base upon our return; the division chief, Senior Chief Olmstead, always referred to Sam as "dolphin" after that, to Sam's chagrin.

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