column 7 Dolphins


"Why have I been rushing about if you're taking the time to cut your toenails?"
This remark was made as we were about to go off to the Dolphin Research Centre at Grassy Key. With some degree of grumbling we arrived at the dolphins at a quarter to nine.
"Excuse me, mister, do you want tickets for the encounter with dolphins? I've made a mistake; instead of today, I've booked for tomorrow but we have to get off back home this evening."
I asked what was meant by an encounter with dolphins and heard that we would be able to swim in the lagoon with the dolphins for a whole morning.
"It costs three hundred dollars, but you can have the tickets for two hundred dollars and you usually have to book six weeks in advance because they only allow six people in a group."
I looked at his two sullen daughters of fourteen and fifteen who were not going to make their dad's life any easier that day. I was aware that this was a stroke of luck, so the nail cutting had proved to be of use after all. At the cash desk I decided to pay the full amount.
"Oh, thanks, you saved my ass."
The next morning, about twenty of us stood waiting together. I began to have my doubts about whether we had made such a good deal after all but at eight thirty we discovered  that only a select few were to go with us for the encounter, The rest were to paint with dolphins, clap with dolphins and wave with dolphins. There was a scale of charges to cover each activity. After about forty-five minutes of explanation when we were told that some parts of the animals, including the private parts, were not to be touched, we were allowed to enter the water. It was enormous fun to swim with Flipper's daughters. The prettiest women in the group were also allowed to take part in the activity, kissing the dolphins.