17. The Beaching of a White Whale on Fathers Day 2014


Today is Fathers Day 2014 a clear, sunny day that I was looking forward to gather whatever it had to offer me. I found myself standing on the tile floor in my bathroom, which must have been a bit wet. I took a step and found my large almost three hundred pound body being lifted off the floor and landing on my left knee on a very hard surface. At first I thought that I must have smashed my knee cap as I lay face down on my bathroom tile floor. Although my knee was bruised and I felt quite foolish the knee was not smashed. My right arm was resting below a very large mass which made it more difficult to push myself to a standing position. It seems that in order to stand even getting up from a chair I must use my arms to push myself up for the legs do not wish to cooperate. So there I lay like a white whale on the bathroom floor, knowing that there was no one to call for a tow truck to lift me.

As ridiculous and humbling as the situation that I found myself in I found myself thinking of what a whale must think as it found itself in a similar situation beached on some shore line without the aid of some animal rights organization to come to its aid. So there I was a beached white whale laying face down on my bathroom floor and alone. The wonderful Herman Melville tale of Moby Dick came to my mind, although that whale did have an advantage over me for it was in deep ocean water. Its disadvantage was that Captain Ahab had lowered harpooners Tashtego and Daggoo into the water to harpoon Moby Dick. The thought that came to me was that I had better some way or other get off the beach before someone found me mistaking me for a large white whale and perhaps harpooning me.

So much as a large whale would do, I slithered my large immobile body off of the tile floor to an area that was covered with carpet. When I remark here that I slithered that is the way that I reached the carpet again much as a whale would have to move it to deeper waters. It took me some twenty minutes to find an object to grab onto to lift myself off of my right arm that was tucked under my body, however, with much effort I did manage to free my arm and use it with the aid of my other arm holding on to an object on the carpet to stand once more.

I made my morning meal, taking it to my little cement porch with my morning cigar and decided to enjoy the day which I am now doing. Thinking of the events of the morning I found myself laughing at the large beached white whale that I had become with no one available to aid me off the beach. I thought of Fathers Day and the love and respect that I had for my father. I also thought of the fact that I would not on this Fathers Day hear from my children and that they were not there to aid the beached whale. I found myself not with a pessimistic feeling at all but grateful that I as a father, whatever the present circumstance might be that I am still able to love my children. So I say to you love them, and children love your fathers, whatever misunderstands may seem to stay in your way for doing so will make each day a more productive and happier day for you even if you may find yourself a beached white whale on a tile floor.

This essay that you just read I enjoyed having the chance to laugh at myself however the cruel history of humans killing whales it is not a laughable matter.


There is no justification for the hunting of whales. Every year, Japan, Norway and Iceland kill around 1,500 whales between them. In Iceland, whale meat is sold mostly to tourists, not locals. In Japan whale meat is even used in pet food. In Norway it’s in animal feed on fur farms. Some whales live to over 200 years old and are slow to reproduce. Hunting has a major impact on populations. An estimated three million whales were killed in the twentieth century alone. Vast numbers of North Atlantic whales used to live in the waters around the USA. Only around 400 remain. The blue whale, the largest creature on Earth, has never recovered from hunting. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered up until the 1960s. As few as 10,000 to 20,000 survive today.

As terrible and cruel the hunting of whales was in the past today the hunting is done even in a more evil manner with modern equipment such as whale cannons.


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