They kill dolphins and seals for kicks, don't they?
I was nearly eaten by orcas a week ago. At least that’s how the public perceived the situation.
Defying my deeply held scorn for dawnies, I found myself sitting in the low light of dawn, immersed in frigid water, surfing a backwashy right at a central city surf spot. It was already crowded and I was cold, blowing waves and wondering why I even bothered.
The beachfront was full of busy-body dog walkers and lycra-clad middle-aged women pacing the sand, trying hard to achieve whatever it is that is relevant to their dull, chardonnay (possibly pinot noir, probably sauvignon blanc) sipping lives. I still sat cold and disgruntled.
Then the beach erupted with screams of “Get out of the water!” as six orcas came charging in to within 20 metres of us.
I looked at the beach, “What’s the racket for I asked myself?”
A guy turned to me and said “Did you see that?”
I didn’t, they were gone fairly quickly and I was too absorbed in loathing the cold and back-wash. A photographer I knew looked like he had seen a ghost as he sat there bobbing about amongst us.
“Oh well,” I thought and surfed on. I’d shared the line-up with orcas before.
Drawing upon my lack of self-respect and the respect of the judgement of others, I’d had a similar situation as a grom when blue sharks invested my local for a summer. My 14-year-old self and 11-year-old mate sat there stoked on the glassy two-footers as two-metre blueys swam by.
The middle-aged people stood on the breakwater yelling at us to get out. We smiled and waved politely. They continued to yell until my friend lost his temper and yelled “Fuck-off, we know there’s sharks!” He went on to do a great many punk things.
Possibly, but I had a father who told me that if I wanted to be a surfer, I had to face the fact that I may be eaten by sharks. Young and impressionable, I took it a little bit too far.
My masochistic sense of recklessness aside, I was relaxed about the orcas. After all, they’re meant to be fussy and discerning eaters. Some pods will only eat salmon, others, herring. Others will kill a whale just to eat its liver. A sinewy 64 kg Beau Andrews is probably not a good meal to an orca.
But what’s stopping them? They kill seals and dolphins for kicks. Why not awkward rubber clad gimps with dick-headed opinions? A pod of orcas could single-handedly make surfing unpopular again, wreaking more havoc than any shark could. But they don’t.
Some would say that they’re too intelligent to do that. I say bollocks. We kill for fun, even if we know it ain’t for food or any real reason other than we can.
Then again, they may have a point. I’ve developed a theory that orcas don’t attack surfers because we carry with us the great stench of petro-chemicals. We’re literally clad in the stuff while sitting on the stuff… repulsive.
It’s just a theory though, and a ridiculous one. However, if true, the joke’s on them. They turn their noses up at us while they gorge themselves on fish, accumulating dangerous levels of mercury and DDT from our polluted seas.
So much for discerning.
Join me next week when I theorise how babies are made and why.