THE BLOG
03/15/2013 08:37 am ET | Updated May 15, 2013

For All Practical Porpoises

Some years ago, newly-elected President Obama announced that Krazy Kristian mega-church pastor Rick Warren would give the inaugural invocation prayer. ("Dear Lord, please don't let our own idiocy destroy our country, and also please show us a hi-def photo of Jesus riding a dinosaur.") I felt quite excited for like a minute, until someone informed me that the guy's book was titled The Purpose-Driven Life and not The Porpoise-Driven Life, at which point I quickly lost interest. (I added the hyphen to Warren's title -- no, no, don't thank me, crazy religious dude; grammatical correctness is thanks enough.) But for a little while there, I was in pig -- well, porpoise -- heaven. Because who doesn't want to drive around in a chariot drawn by dolphins? You'd be like Neptune, and have a red-haired mermaid daughter and a Calypso-singing crab courtier. I might have confused a couple of mythologies there, but, I think you'll admit, in the best possible way.

Even cooler than a porpoise-drawn chariot, though, are porpoise assassins, an opinion that the Ukrainian navy apparently shares with me, because they have trained dolphins to "attack enemy combat swimmers using special knives or pistols fixed to their heads". (The Soviets also apparently in the '80s trained dolphins for combat using syringes of compressed CO2, but being intelligent creatures, the dolphins refused to get involved in a war in Afghanistan.) Sure we have Navy SEALs, but Navy dolphins would be much more deadly than SEALs; for one thing, dolphins are bigger than seals -- I mean, duh. (Plus enemy combatants can distract Navy SEALs by tossing them balls to balance on their noses. I would think.) I wonder what the hand-signal for "Assasinate Bin Laden" would look like? Possibly something like the one for "Do the tail-dance"? Imagine how much intelligence spy dolphins could get on just e.g. SeaWorld. Our entire American way of sea-mammal-based entertainment could be in danger.

Also, allow me to express my fondest hope that the Ukrainians have outfitted their dolphin spy/assassins with ninja costumes. Because the only thing more badass than a dolphin spy/assassin is a dolphin ninja spy/assassin. In fact, anything is more badass in a ninja costume, hence the customary attire of my accountant, Shinobi Stu Greenblatt. The IRS does not ask him to submit his W2s in triplicate, let me tell you.

The Ukrainian dolphin spy/assassin program recently suffered a setback when several of the spy-porpoises escaped to mate with wild dolphins. The Ukrainians expect the AWOL dolphins will come home eventually; according to a former Soviet expert in dolphin anti-sabotage efforts, the trained dolphins do this periodically, run off chasing a wild female, then return to base after a week or two.

Well, sure. If you are the marine-mammal version of 007, every now and then between missions you're going to go out looking for a little, you should excuse the expression, octopussy. (I wonder what Sean Connery's accent sounds like in dolphin clicks.) (And yes, I know Octopussy was Roger Moore. Shhh. Let's never speak of this again.) I just hope that these dolphins' playmates don't betray them to any aquatic Dr. Nos: "Do you expect me to talk, No?" "No, Mr. Flipper. I expect you to click. And perhaps squeak a bit."

(I foresee a whole series of movies using a darkly sinister version of "They Call Him Flipper" as their theme song, perhaps sung by Shirley Bassey.)

Now that we know that our sworn enemies the Ukrainians (or possibly I'm thinking of the ukulele players; those tiny-guitar-strumming assholes are definitely up to something) have weaponized one of nature's most appealing creatures, I have hopes that the DoD will finally take me up on my idea for the ultimate melding of the animal kingdom and the military: drone kittens. Cute, playful... and armed with hellfire missiles. Whatever you do, don't tease these little furballs with a laser pointer.
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Drone Kitten. (Artist's conception, not to scale.)