Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don't Think Shamu Think Monsieur Bones

One of my favorite writers, Haruki Murakami, has a novel called A Wild Sheep Chase in which the protagonist reminisces about seeing a whale penis at the aquarium. His town's seaside museum didn't have the wherewithal to house the whole whale so they only displayed the penis. The young man describes an inscrutable loneliness recalling that occasion.

I had the great pleasure of visiting the rink dink aquarium on the promenade this morning. The sideways rain didn't disappoint. By the time I made it to my point of interest I was soaked. Big deal I would get a chance to dry off inside. The stink of blubber was brutal, a crazy melange of cloying sweet musk like I was held captive in a three-week old pot of Chinese sweet and sour sauce. There was no live whale in this museum, but an old hanging skeleton. This was no Shamu though it was a killer whale by classification.

The place looked like one big petshop. Nothing like the Coney Island I remembered from my youth. I decided it was too much for me to take so I opted to continue on my morning constitutional on the beach. There, perhaps, I would see a live sea monster amidst the waves. In the very least I could count driftwood and kelp.

The Salt Works, Lewis and Clarke's base camp, still needed to get scratched off my itinerary.


  1. Yeah, Murakami's awesome.
    Three-week old pot of sweet & sour? Yeah, you're awesome, too.
    But I thought sea monsters only lived in Scotland.

  2. Remember when Woody Allen spotted those German subs in Radio Days? I look for sea monsters even in estuaries.