About a week ago I promised Kate Sterling a post on why I’m terrified of whales. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, of how to approach the topic so I don’t sound like a loon. However, I don’t think it’s possible, so I figured I’d just go whole-loon–with drawings!
Whales are huge.
No, whales are bigger than huge. You look at a bull, an elephant, one of those stretch Hummer limos, and you go, “Wow, that’s huge” (and in one case, tacky). But, a whale is somekindamathpercentagetimes bigger than all of those. In fact, a blue whale could be my house.
Let’s look at this boring drawing of a blue whale compared to a human:
Now, let’s look at my super-scientific drawing of that same whale being my house:
As you can see, the entirety of my downstairs could fit inside a blue whale. If you stacked two blue whales on top of each other, they would be my house. I could install a nice stairway between the two, and it would be exactly like living in my house (except moist and fishy, which I am proud to say my house is not). Whales are THAT big, and they’re just down there, churning through the dark, all big and monster-like. You can’t see what they’re doing, what they’re about to do. They could be hanging around near the bottom one second, and then decide they’re feeling a little vitamin D deficient and barrel to the surface the next. I’m aware (despite my fang depiction) that they’re most likely not the next incarnation of Jaws 3–mindful killing machines with a fixed, personal interest in filtering me to death. What matters is that I don’t matter. This size advantage is clearly the whale’s. It is just going to do what it’s trying to do, and if I’m in the way, too damn bad. The whale is not going to see me, and even if it does at the last second, that doesn’t mean it won’t accidentally hurt me. Hell, I step on my cats all the time, just because they’re small and have decided to hang out in a place I didn’t expect them to be.
Not a smart person
You never see a squirrel strolling along suddenly stop, stand slack-jawed and goggle-eyed, and say, “Oooh, Mary, look! A human!” as you pop out of nowhere in their general vicinity. No. The squirrel collects Mary and hightails it up the nearest telephone pole. He knows to get out of the way because HUMANS ARE BIGGER. And when it looks like the ocean has grown a brand new mountain right in front of you, it’s probably time to get back on land.
So, no. I don’t think whales are going to eat me. I don’t think they’re plotting some sort of Avery-involved hostile takeover down in the deep. I don’t think they’re evil (again, despite the fangs I drew). I just don’t want this to be my last interaction:
And this completes the post on my wholly irrational terror of whales.