Because my life is so much more fun and interesting than yours, I had the following conversation with my friends yesterday:
SB: Did you hear about the dead whale?
Friend 1: Yeah!!
Friend 2: We should go see it tomorrow after church.
Yes, people, we actually made a date to go see a dead whale. We are THAT kind of cool.
And because my friends are 24-hour party people, they just could not wait until this afternoon to go see the whale. They actually went out at 2 a.m. in search of a 70-foot whale carcass, which proved surprisingly elusive. They never found the whale last night and we met up to go out today.
The first beach we stopped at was whale-carcass-free. We asked around and some surfers pointed us a few miles north. When we saw 2 giant yellow excavator machines, we knew we were there.
And when we got out of the Magic Bus and began gagging on the smell, we REALLY knew we were there. I mean the kind of "Oh help me Lord, I am going to lose my morning muffin RIGHT NOW" feeling. A 70-ton whale that has been sitting in the sun a few days...well, there ain't nothing else exactly like it.
We followed our noses down to the beach, hoping that our scent receptors would soon be overwhelmed and quit working so that we might stop feeling so pukish.
When we got down to the sand, a ranger and this very strange, perky woman informed us that the whale had already been buried. The perky woman (short curly hair, floral dress) took a little too too much pleasure in telling us how the whale had looked as the excavating machines flayed it into pieces small enough to bury.
When we extracted ourselves from that weird coversation, we hiked back up the hill to the car, both happy to be out of there so we could return to breathing normally, and disappointed that we had missed the spectacle.
Why did we go to see a large, dead mammal? I think because whales, dead or alive, give us a sense of awe. There is something sacred or magic in seeing that there are these giant, mysterious creatures sharing the planet with us, just a few miles away.
But though we missed the whale, it didn't miss us. For the rest of the day, the smell of dead whale floated around us like a disgusting, ghostly presence.
In honor of our departed cetacean friend, here is a petition to get the Navy to stop killing whales with their sonar (Though this whale was probably killed by a boat, many others beach themselves after sonar experiments). Please click the link and sign. These are magnificent mammals, and they deserve better than to be driven crazy or killed by loud underwater sounds. Thanks, Kevin Charnas.
I also watched the Dodgers win
(I was trying to perch "Think Blue" on my hands, but after standing in the sun and sweating for about 10 minutes, we gave up)
and took Goldie to the beach to chase birds
What did YOU do this weekend?