28 February 2010

But still you're surprised, surprised, surprised when I eat ya

When I was little I had six neon tetra fish and named them all after characters from GONE WITH THE WIND. (Scarlett survived the longest -- coincidence?!) Still, I think naming an animal after a book character can go too far. After the fatal attack at Sea World in Orlando this week the Miami Herald ran a story on the killer whale at the Miami Seaquarium, Lolita. Lolita! I quote:
[Seaquarium curator Robert] Rose said trainers and veterinarians spend long hours developing trust and relationships with orcas and dolphins, which, like humans, have different personalities. Trainers look for signs that an animal may be ill or off.

Lolita enjoys performing, he said, as the orca lolled behind him in its tank, occasionally spitting water. "I've been with her longer than I've been with my wife,'' he said.

She was Lo, plain Lo, at the morning feeding, standing six feet one. She was Lola in the breeding tank. She was Dolly in the shows. She was Dolores at the vet's. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

(Also, the newspaper pidgin used in the print headline: Lolita not kill nobody! Lolita good whale! Lolita take English lesson from Drunk Hulk!)

5 comments:

Wade Garrett said...

I encourage all Neko Case-inspired post headings.

Elizabeth said...

That's why you have to be careful in a case-ending-poor language.

I saw Lolita once! No one was injured.

Henry said...

I hope there's another whale named Tadzio.

Ellen said...

Henry, it would only be fair. I've got a musical cue for that one, too.

8yearoldsdude said...

The Orcas have spoken