-Moby’s Dick-

by Dickie Schlueter on April 7, 2014


 Look at me, Mom. playing w/ sharks. Maiden voyage in shark resistant suit.

“Call me Ishmael.” What a beginning, right? Sorry for the bullshishmael. Bummed out would be a better name to call me. With my diminutive paycheck and not a frickin’ thing happening on this boring Navy base, I thought I would walk the perimeter of this island to get my best view of San Francisco. It would be the closest I could get to any fun today.

Besides, it was Saturday morning. Gotta get out of my barracks. Waking up to the smell of stale urine and beer is not the most pleasant alarm clock; efficient but not pleasant.

My residence, Treasure Island, the Navy base for my electronics training, for the next ten months was a beat up, two story ‘temporary’ barracks built for World War II troop transfers before heading out to the Philippines. By the smell and color, the original bunk beds with their paper-thin mattresses had sucked up and retained every drop of sweat from those early heroes. There was no A/C in 1942 and none when I was there. Those 120 putrid padded potpourris, along with drunken sailors, most of whom smoked, added an eye-tweaking sour note to the closed in ambiance. But Saturday mornings were the most pungent and damp.

I had to sleep there; shower there; change there and study there. I got out any chance I could. Today, I threw on my whites (white pants, white jumper, white hat…shit, white everything). I wanted to explore Perimeter Road again. Get some fresh air.

The fog had lifted early; Alcatraz almost looked like an attachment to the Navy’s training  island. Wasting no time I cut west toward the old wooden piers which stuck out at angles on the San Francisco side. I had never seen anything tied up to one until today. Is that some type of weird canoe? Quick! Ignore the multiple ‘KEEP OFF’ signs and let’s check it out.

“Holy shit! Look at the size of that thing.” Damn, did I say that out loud?

When I approached, I first thought it was a large capsized boat. The rough waves kept it pinned against the outer old wooden pier. I paid attention during ‘Wild Kingdom.” I read Moby Dick. Well, I saw the movie. Ishmael knew a sperm whale when he saw one. Can’t mistake that lower jaw, the huge teeth.

With its head pointed toward the shore end of the pier and its black belly exposed, I paced off its length at forty-five feet. At least a third of its body floated above water. I wanted to climb on it, wanted to lift its eyelid, look at its eyeball close up. Would it be human like? Blue like the sea? With it bobbing I showed some caution (surprised myself with that action) and laid down on the pier and reached out as far as my skinny arm would go without dislocating it. Dammit, I could not reach the eyelid. Wait! Are those eyelashes? Focus.

It wasn’t that far down so I touched the head above the large creased eyelid. The black skin felt silky smooth, slippery, yet squishy. I found myself rubbing the skin longer, pressing harder.

Whoa! A shark! I flew back almost falling off the other side of the pier when one leapt out of the water toward my hand. Then another ripped a big chunk out of the whale’s cheek just three feet away. I watched as more sharks popped out of the water with white gaping jaws ripping huge hunks from the whale, which shook with each bite. Shit, no whale mountaineering for me today. I had been so mesmerized with the whale that I had not notice the swarm, no the shiver of sharks all around the pier. Shiver? Why? Because that’s what you do when you see a group underwater?

This stationary smorgasbord must have been a rare shark treat. The shark bites, 4-8 inches across exposed bright red meat contrasting its dark skin. Toward the shore, rivulets of red oozed from the wounds. Sharks queued up. This restaurant already exceeded its capacity.

Standing now and leaning over the pier, I could feel it shake as the whale was torn apart. My curiosity took over. It wasn’t often that I could observe the eating habits of sharks, up so close that I think I heard their lips smacking. Do sharks have any table manners? Bet they talked with their mouth’s full.

I slowly traversed the pier toward its tail, amazed at all the sharks. The water foamed with activity. Then I saw it. The most amazing engineering marvel of nature. One of the seven mammalian wonders of the world, I am sure. Something never seen on those nature channels. When the animal is alive, I bet it’s rarely seen except by the horny whale cow. And only near the equator in warm sultry clear water.

During his feeding period, which is most of the day, a bull whale’s dick is tucked inside for hydrodynamic reasons. If everything hung free, like human males, his stuff would cause too much drag and get caught on kelp, jellyfish tentacles, fishnets, and other sea snags. All this banging into sea junk would render the whale’s wanker useless. Giant squids would have a field day. And there goes the species. Besides that inconvenient extinction, I have also learned that broken dicks are a turnoff to most females. Not by experience, of course. By hearsay and research. At my next duty station of Mare Island, I would witness an unusual human exception a little too close. But, that’s another can’t-get-dat-image-outta-my-brain story.

As far as dicks go, this is one of the best designs in nature, if not the best. I know this because I’m a design engineer and we know these things. The perfect shape and tucked inside for speed. I would love to have mine tucked inside like that. Probably be a better tennis player, too, definitely a faster swimmer.

This phallic masterpiece was over 6 feet long, a full fathom. “Hey, Honey, is that a fathom in your pants or are you just happy to see me,” could be a clever whale pick up line. “Fathom that” has a brand new meaning. Did I hear someone cringe out there?

At 13% of its overall length, this whale schlong deserves to be renamed schlooooong. At this percentage, a 6-foot man would have to carry around a 10 incher. Think about the rocket pocket on those Jockey briefs. But size doesn’t really matter, does it? Heh!

This phallic monument was pure white, marble smooth, and conical shaped, starting at twelve inches in diameter and tapering to what looked like a sharp point. Imagine the possibilities. He could use it to pleasure another whale or an animal as small as a gerbil in scuba gear. Not sure that sperm whales wander outside their species, but…

There it was in all its amazing glory, floating and undulating in the currents in perfect condition; not one shark bite. What? They didn’t like white meat? I didn’t know that sharks were so fussy and would have thought that a sperm whale pecker would be a shark delicacy. For sure in China. As I watched the sharks swimming around it, I was convinced that they were consciously avoiding the thing. I stuck my ear in the water and overheard the following conversation:

“Hey, Bruno, this is some sushi bar, huh?” Max said as he chewed on a freshly ripped off piece of blubber.

“Oh, yeah. I won’t havta eat for a month. My waistline has doubled. My rear dorsal fin is ready to pop off,” Bruno said, swallowing a piece the size of a human head.

“Same here. Hey, what’s that white tidbit on the pier? It’s staring at us,” Max noted with mild curiosity.

“Looks pretty boney. Not really worth a chew, but got dibs if it falls in anyway,” Bruno claimed. He could eat a horse. Actually did once, and part of the rider. Left leg with chaps and boot still attached. Unable to regurgitate it, the boot spur continued to corrode inside his stomach.

“Sure glad the Rotundo family hasn’t shown up. This thing be gone in an hour,” Max said.

“But the two youngest Rotundo sisters, Maria and Lucia, They’re hot. I wouldn’t mind taking either one into shallow water and—”

“Cool it.” Max remembered that feeding frenzies made Bruno horny. “Forget about them. They’ll just get fat when they get older. Look at their mother. She’s as big as this whale,” Max said interrupting Bruno’s fantasy.

“Hey, Max, have you tried that white floaty white thing up there? Right there. You’ve cruised under it a couple times. What is it?” Bruno asked just now noticing.

“Who do I look like, Jacques Cousteau?” Max spit out.

“You majored in cetology, right?”

“Remember, I dropped out?”

“Right. Forgot how puny your brain was,” Bruno said swallowing more blubber while squealing with glee.

“Not one of these other blues has bitten it. I bumped into it. Gave off a weird vibe, but felt flaccid. Seemed edible though,” Max asked.

“I’m full. I’m not tryin’ it,” Bruno spouted and shook his head as if fighting a hook. He had the mouth scars from torn out hooks.

Max could not believe that Bruno had wimped out. “Come on Bruno, I dare you to take a bite,” Max said teasingly. He knew Bruno would eat anything that moved. He ate an orange buoy one time on a dare and became the ballsiest shark in the shiver. No dare had scared him until now.

“What da ya give me? And it better be tasty.” Bruno was no fool.

Max put both his brain cells into action. Once they synched up, he offered, “Ah…um…the belly meat and liver from the next blue fin tuna.”

“Deal.” Bruno flipped his head around, viewing the ‘thing’ with both eyes. He swam below it and to the sides. This careful examination went on for several minutes.

“C’mon Bruno. This thing will be all bones soon.”

“Okay, okay. Should I bite off the pointy end first?”

“Probably the tastiest part,” Max said trying to tempt Bruno.

Bruno moseyed over to the mysterious white morsel, stopped short, nudged it with his snout, then instantly backed up (a feat rarely performed by blue sharks) and sped away.

“Oh, c’mon. You some kind of wimp? Be a shark, not a sardine,” Max said continuing to egg him on even though he was almost out of view.

Bruno kept swimming while shaking his head trying to get the strange sensation from his brain and peculiar smell from his snout. Max had never heard Bruno retch so loudly before.

Sharks will even eat rusty license plates, cans of paint, even bags of coal. Not one would even nibble at the whale’s Mr. Wang, I mean, King Wang. Was it magical? Did it have some strange animal power? An overpowering testosterone scent? Or were they afraid of the taunting they’d receive after that first bite? Where’s a good oceanographer when you need one?

For several days, I checked on the whale. A few sharks were still at it. Just a skeleton remained with small pieces of bloody flesh clinging to the white bones. On the fifth day, I watched as it started to sink. The last thing to be pulled under was the whale dong, still perfectly intact. Once on the bottom, would the crabs be so picky?

Suddenly a light bulb popped in my head. A full-proof shark resistant suit! Would Green Peace go ballistic over sperm whale castration? Then I wondered, would I look like an idiot wearing it? Stupid question.



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