Here’s a headline that you won’t understand but about which you will be totally unsurprised: a family encountered a bunch of whales in the water and got scared so they called the police on them. I should clarify: the people called the cops; the whales calling the cops would make sense. “Hello, Prospero? People have ruined the earth and now they’re hanging out in my neighborhood. Talk about a Tem-pest, am I right? Anyway, can you please send help?” No, this it wasn’t the fish folk blubbering to the police, but the humans. People calling the cops for no good reason has crossed species boundaries and I am the opposite of surprised.
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In a video making its rounds on Twitter, a family can be heard alternately freaking out and marveling that their boat has a humpback whale underneath of it. While some family members exhort the dad to drive away quickly, one person—I’m assuming a sister—takes it upon herself to do what comes naturally to some Americans: call the cops for no good reason.
Oh to be Connie Britton and/or Jennifer Love Hewitt receiving this panicked call.
While Dad breathlessly reports that the whale is rolling, a dramatic sight indeed, Sister Send the Police is already on the horn. “I’m out in Puget Sound,” she tells the operator, “And there’s three grey whales underneath our boat and I’m afraid we might get flipped over.” She then asks someone else in the boat, “Where are we,” and this is my favorite thing that has ever happened.
“Yes, operator, please send a cruiser to 1 Bikini Bottom, Oceania, Earth.”
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As someone who once tried to call a Lyft to a fishing boat after getting very seasick and realizing I do not want to catch any fish ever, I understand this. But I will still mock it. What did they think was going to happen? The cops were going to call block captain Jason Momoa? King Triton was going to issue a citation? Trust me, if all you had to do to get some burly sea-faring dude with flowing locks to show up was board a boat and ring up the 5-0, I’d be on a ship singing “Gee, Officer Krupke” as we speak.
But that’s not how this works. That’s not how anything works. Did they think these humpbacks were going to go to whale jail? If they tried to run would the police have put a tail on them? In whale jail what do they call solitary confinement? The Blow Hole? When a whale goes to jail, is the one call they’re allowed always to Ishmael? I have so many questions.
Mostly, however, I need answers from this bunch of Captain Ahabs who have it out for this whale. I would like to take this video to family therapy. There is so much happening. The dad is going full Jodie Foster in Contact, while the kids are going full Jodie Foster in Panic Room. Everybody thinks that in a crisis situation, you’ll band together and fight your way through like Swiss Family Robinson, but the truth is the same things that annoy you about your relatives when everyone is fine will annoy you about your relatives when you’re straight freaking out. I am tired of Hollywood’s erasure of petty squabbles during emergencies. Please give me a disaster movie where everyone bickers like a they’re on an episode of Iyanla Fix My Life. Starring The Rock. Thank you.
But, as I said, I fully understand all of the reactions and I fully reserve the right to mock them. Nobody wants to get capsized, but the best way to avoid that is not going out in to the place where dinosaur fish live. Just a thought. But, if you do, remember that calling the police on a humpback is not the right idea. If you’re concerned for your whalefare, first ring up the Neighborhood Orca-nization. They have a license to krill.
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