There Be Whales Here

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Story Submitted by Jeff:

I took Moira to an aquarium for our first date.  She enjoyed seeing the penguins, the fish, and the fossil exhibit.  I bought us two tickets to the beluga whale show, thinking that she would similarly enjoy it.

I was wrong.  The entire time, while the whales jumped, swam, and performed various tricks with their trainers, she had her arms folded and alternated staring daggers at the whales and at me.  It finally became uncomfortable enough for me to say, "What's wrong?"

She said, "Those poor whales!  They're forced to perform silly tricks for humans while they should be out in the ocean!  It's shameful!"

I said, "All of the other fish in here are kept out of the oceans, too.  You seemed to like looking at them."

"Whales aren't fish!  They know that they're in captivity!  Fish don't know any better, but whales are smart, and they obviously hate being in here."

I watched as a whale jumped into the air and grabbed a fish.  I'm not sure what a frustrated whale looks like, but these didn't seem too upset with their lives.  Then again, perhaps Moira had done copious whale mood research.

She didn't say another word, and after the show, I followed her as she approached an aquarium attendant.  She asked, "How long have these whales been in captivity?"

The attendant said, "Since close to birth."

Moira asked, sounding horrified, "So they were taken away from their parents?"

"The whales in this show were actually rescued.  We're take excellent care of them, here."

Moira retorted, "Not better than their parents would have!"  She stomped away and I followed her to a corner.  She said, half to herself and half to me, "I have to bust them out of here."

I asked, "Maybe we should go."

"You can go.  I'm going to find out how to empty the tanks.  There's got to be some way to do this."

Again, I tried.  "Come on, Moira.  You want some lunch?"

She yelled, "How could you think about lunch when these poor creatures are forced to perform tricks for their entire lives?  What if that was you?  Or your children?"

"Doing back flips for free food?  Count me in."

She shook her head, dismissively.  "Okay, adios," she said, and walked away from me, clearly not wanting to be followed.

I walked after her a little way, to try and talk some sense into her.  She looked inside of the whale performance space, peering up and down, likely trying to find an escape route for the imprisoned whales within.  She said no more to me, and I said, "Goodbye," with no response from her.  I never heard from her again, after that.


  1. I've met women like these -- they're supremely conflicted and confused, and they tend to drag guys into their drama at the slightest opportunity. Youre' right, OP - there is no reasoning with someone like this without being made into the "bad guy."

  2. there are few things more obnoxious than animal rights slacktivists.

  3. There is considerable evidence that whales, dolphins, etc. do not like being in captivity at all. They are meant to be roaming thousands of miles in the ocean. But more importantly it's the lack of a proper family structure that apparently is the main problem.

    Sure, if they are rescued from the wild, they may be better off. But they would be better off released back into the wild (if possible).

    OP was being a bit of a jerk. He could have listened to her, or at least agreed to disagree or something polite. Instead he just dismisses her concerns as trivial.

  4. When your date is scouring the zoo for a way of emptying the tanks instead of taking the proper routes of freeing the whales, like petitioning and government lobbying, then yeah - I think the OP was more than right to dismiss her concerns as trivial.

  5. Ok, I've been a reader of this blog for months and I've never commented before, but this time I finally have to chime in and say that the title of this post is nothing short of awesome.

    Thanks for the great movie quote. :)

  6. I was so sure this story was going to be about fat chicks after reading the title. Maybe OP's date was fat, that's why she felt such affinity for the real whales.

  7. Anonyme has a point, but OP and Moira were both tools. Whales raised in captivity aren't going to do too well in the wild after all this time, but OP was unnecessarily dismissive. That said, if his date truly cared, she probably shouldn't have agreed to go out to an aquarium.

  8. OP unnecessarily dismissive? After your date goes batshit insane and tries to conjure up ways to commit a serious criminal offense and possibly destroy private property? OP acted perfectly well.


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