Can You Stare Like a Whale?
Can You Stare Like a Whale? – by Karissa Cole
On some sad, gloomy days I sometimes find myself wishing my life were a bit more interesting, with more excitement and surprises.
But then I inevitably come home from grocery shopping to find two blue whales staring intently at each other on my kitchen table and I realize I’m really quite full up in the interesting, exciting, surprise department.
Well, actually, today was the first time that exact scenario played out. But I’ve come to find there’s always something unusual lurking around the next corner in my week. This week it just happened to be whales.
It went like I said after running errands: Juggling two jumbo brown bags I fumbled with my keys and somehow managed to let myself in the front door without dropping anything. I walked in the house, kicked the door shut behind me, doing good maintaining my balance – at least until I saw two miniscule sea creatures sitting right in front of my salt and pepper shakers. I didn’t bother to check to see if I broke the eggs or smushed the bread when I dropped my bags; I was too interested and spellbound by what I saw.
At first it looked like these two whales were kissing, and I almost thought to turn away and give them some privacy. When I made just the slightest mention of it, though, the whale on the left scoffed, and quickly explained that the two were immersed in a staring contest. I nodded thoughtfully at that notion, mulling it over, until I realized they were totally without water. Panicking I raced over to the sink, mumbling something about letting an endangered species suffocate in my own kitchen. Apparently these little guys have good hearing though, as the whale on the right – gaze never leaving his opponent – politely explained that although whales live in the water, they breathe air and were perfectly fine. I could feel my face flush when I realized my silly mistake – “everyone knows how whales breathe doofus” – , and then flush even more when I thought about the fact that I was embarrassed in front of a whale in the first place.
A new set of questions and concerns hit me then – like, “how did you guys get on my table and how is it you can speak English?” – but I walked quietly back toward the table and, holding my breath, watched the staring match continue.
It felt like an eternity before another word was uttered. Finally, the whale on the left asked me what time it was. When I told him he let out a slow whistle. “Best time yet, Peapod!” he exclaimed. At that both whales let each other out of their attention and turned toward me, with no apparent winner to their battle. When I questioned who had won, they simply stared at me with perplexed expressions. I explained that usually, in a staring contest, whomever blinks first is the loser, leaving the other player the winner. They both laughed lightly at that, saying something about how silly some bipeds can be.
I brushed it off and decided to see if I could get some answers to more pertinent questions. Before I managed to open my mouth, though, a third, darker colored whale came bounding – if you can say a whale can bound, that is – over to us. “Dudes!” he yelled in what I would have before today called a very unwhalelike manner. “The popcorn is getting cold. You coming?” He then turned to me directly, gave a quick, friendly wave of his fin, and told me that he already picked out a movie for all four of us to watch.
The first two whales sprung up and made their way to the next room where the TV had somehow been set up to play Finding Nemo.I hurried to put away my groceries as they called excitedly, imploring to me come watch. As I flopped down onto the couch the third whale gently nudged the remote to me as the other two made themselves totally comfortable on my lap, settling in for a nice evening.
Although I was still curious about how they got here and all that, I decided not to bother with trivialities. I figure why question a good thing? I mean, I had after all just gotten three new friends, who cares how?
Peapod, the lightest blue whale, is sweet and considerate; Park, the medium shade, is competitive but still caring. And Schmoo, the darkest of the whales, is an all around goofball. And apparently they have a thing for tennis, card games, and fondu. And they’ve also proven to be great at telling jokes and keeping things interesting. So it looks like with these guys around I won’t need to be wishing for a more interesting life, with more excitement and more surprises. They’ll keep me covered for a bit.
Funny how things work out like that sometimes, huh?