I grew up in a manatee-infested Confederate backwater in Florida. The mister is from Buffalo, New York. Years ago when we were courting, I took him to my home town to meet my father. I also borrowed a boat so the future-mister could meet the slow-moving, seaweed-eating, two-foot-long-turd-cranking aquatic local celebrities we used to call “sea cows.”
It was summer, so most of the manatees had migrated from the river, but a few hang around all year. I slowly motor-boated to a likely manatee haunt, spotted one and killed the engine a ways off so as not to disturb it (or run it over, a tragically too commonplace event in that area). The future-mister donned a mask and snorkel so he could swim over near it and check it out from a respectful distance (even back then, we were non-harassers).
As he swam about 30 yards or so off the bow, I shouted instructions to guide him to the creature’s proximity. I could tell exactly when it loomed into his view because the future-mister performed an abrupt U-turn and practically walked on water back to the boat, his eyes as big as saucers behind the mask.
When I teased him for fearing a perfectly sweet, utterly harmless manatee, he said it was “as big as a mini-van,” which was an exaggeration. But compared to the reaction of the woman in the video below, the future-mister’s post-manatee encounter demeanor was a model of courage and calm:
That poor manatee was probably thinking, “What the fucking FUCK, lady?”
Open thread.[H/T: Jezebel]