Thursday, March 4, 2010

When Good Whales Go Bad: the Whale Whisperer

Recently, it came out that one of the whales at Sea World killed a trainer. Since every whale at Sea World is pretty much Shamu for all intents and porpoises (when I found out, I thought it was a real SHAMu), that's how I'll refer to this one.

How are we going to solve a problem like Shamu?

When good whales go bad, there's one man who's their best friend.

Cesar hails from Mexico and is a Hispanic Crocodile Hunter for the canine set. He takes dogs who are not team players and teaches them how to be team players. His show the Dog Whisperer consists of yelling, "Get confident, stupid!" at shy people overwhelmed by their pooches. He also takes a special joy in correcting wayward Beverly Hills chihuahuas.


Client: "But Dogsy always picks out the sequined vest he wears every day."

Cesar: "Part of being the pack leader means it doesn't matter what the dog wants. If the dog wants to wear its pink vest but you want to violate it seven ways from Sunday, it should be pleased for the opportunity. Now, see what I'm gonna do here is I'm going to correct the dog, lightly, see, he barely feels it."

Client: "Wow, that's great. He's never like this with us."

Cesar: "No, don't reward yet--he is not calm submissive. Outwardly he looks calm but there is still a hint of joie de vivre in his eyes. Now I'm gonna touch him--I'm not gonna do it hard, but he knows what I mean."

Client: "Whoa."

Cesar: "No, you see, he's still twitching. Do you have any antifreeze?"

So what are we going to do with Shamu?

Call in the big guns.

Cesar: "So what seems to be the problem here?"

Sea World: "Uh, well. There was an...incident in 1991 and a trainer died. There was another...incident in 1999 where someone snuck into the tank and the result was a brutal death."

Cesar: "Anything else?"

Sea World: "A few days ago, there was another...incident--a trainer's leg slipped and accidentally got caught in his mouth and it seems she died."

Cesar: "That's it? Well, let's go meet him."

Sea World: "Do you think you can help him?"

Cesar: "It's not gonna be easy but yes. First, we need to project a calm assertive energy."

Sea World: "Like this?"

Cesar: "Head up, shoulders back, you have to BELIEVE it. Confidence. BE the pack leader. No, I think I'm going to have him back to my whale rehabilitation center. He's a hard case, but I think I can save him."

Sea World: "Well. OK."

Cesar: "OK, listen up. If you don't straighten up and fly right, this is gonna be you, esé, OK?"

Shamu: "..."

Cesar: "I speak to the Japanese on a regular basis, homes, I can make it happen."


Sea World: "Cesar, I don't know how you did it, but you did! He's a completely different whale."

Cesar: "WHAT?! I told my assistants we wouldn't need to replace the animal this ti--oh, you're usin' a metaphor, esé."

Sea World: "How'd you do it?"

Cesar: "Well, you know, I put him on a different diet because this commercial stuff, it's no good for him. And I had him exercised several times a day--you gotta get 'em tired out. And of course, the calm assertive energy--that's key."

Sea World: "Uh, is the rocking back and forth normal?"

Cesar: "Oh yeah. The catatonia's normal, too--just prod him a little."