Kissing whales

The manager of the safari camp is worried about a nature resort in Baja California that enables tourists to kiss grey whales.

“Full on the lips, Bananas!” he exclaimed. “Here is a picture of them doing it!”

I examined the photograph casually without feeling the slightest arousal.

“That’s very romantic,” I said, “but what does it have to do with us?”

“Can’t you see we’ll be in trouble if the idea catches on? We’ll never get our animals to kiss tourists on safari.”

“True enough,” I agreed. “They’d chew off the head of any human who tried to smooch them.”

“Unless, perhaps, you’d consider doing it,” he murmured, giving me a coy look.

“Not for all the bananas in Jamaica!” I thundered. “Do you think I’m a hairy whore who’ll kiss any human who’s ape-curious? No one gets to plant one on my lips unless they buy me dinner and take me to the movies. And besides, my females might get jealous.”

“Your females?” repeated the manager quizzically. “How about getting them to kiss our visitors? You’re always going on about how randy they are.”

“Not advisable,” I said, shaking my head. “They’d never be satisfied with a kiss – it’s all or nothing with them. You might end up getting sued for assault.”

“How about the chimps?” he asked.

“Too unpredictable,” I answered. “When they’re in a mean mood they strip tourists naked and chase them out of the jungle. What makes you think our guests want to kiss animals anyway? That sort of thing is for sentimental types who think the natural world is like a big hippy commune. We don’t get hippies in the Congo.”

“I hope you’re right,” mused the manager as he wandered off.

What do you think about this whale-kissing gimmick? Personally, I’m sceptical. Whales may be sociable creatures, but they can’t pucker their lips and their tongues are too big. I would guess their saliva tastes salty. Admittedly, a big part of kissing is the emotion involved, but do the whales even realise they’re being kissed? A human mouth probably feels like a chapstick to them. If someone told them they’d just been snogged by a human, they’d probably puke a ton of plankton in disgust.

The thorny topic of animal sex tourism reminds of a conversation I had with a Welshman while tending bar at the safari guesthouse. After downing this third glass of beer, he asked me the following question:

“If a man went to Disneyland, tied up Goofy and shagged him, do you think he would be charged with rape?”

I didn’t bat an eyelid. A bartender learns not to show surprise at anything he hears.

“If he allowed Goofy to keep his costume on, I should imagine his lawyer would be able to negotiate a plea bargain of indecent exposure,” I said.

“I see you’re a legal expert,” said the Welshman. “I’ve got a friend who could use your advice. I’ll write down his email address and a website where the details of his case are available.”

I accepted the chit without the slightest intention of contacting his friend. I’m not running a legal practice from the Congo and wouldn’t offer counsel to a Welshman of dubious character if I were. The web address will be supplied to private correspondents on request.

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