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Monday, February 19, 2007

Fa! Pa! Whee! Nee! Boom!!!

I don't know about you, but when someone says the words "Academy Awards" to me, I can't help but think of the great films. Sure, most people would quickly remember classics such as Citizen Kane, Seven Samurai, and The Gold Rush, all films that didn't win the award. As for myself, when I think of a great film, unhonoured by Oscar, I immediately go to Mike Nichols' classic, intrigue-filled, suspense thriller The Day of the Dolphin, or as we here at The Dictionary like to call it, Flipper:The Graduate. (And people say that the drug-addled 70's didn't produce great art!)

So it was with great irony that I was already contemplating this magnificent cine-masterpiece of inter-species dialogue, emotion, and high explosives, when...lo and behold, I came across a news item about U.S. Navy plans to deploy anti-terrorism dolphins to patrol military bases. As you can imagine, it was like receiving an early birthday gift.

The best part of the story was a quote from Stepahnie Boyles, marine biologist with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who said, "We believe the United States' citizens deserve the very best defense possible, and this just isn't it, ...They (the dolphins) don't understand the consequences of what will happen if they don't carry out the mission."

Of course they do Ms. Boyles. "No more free fish-ies!" However, this is the kind of terrific analysis you get when you ask someone at PETA about national defence issues.

Anyway, not believing my own eyes, or even the link I just posted for you lot above, I contacted my good friend, former editor for the Atlantis Picayune, and (with all due respect to George C. Scott) star of The Day of the Dolphin: Fa, and asked him what he knew about the issue. Here are some excerpts:

**********

[Note: Our conversation was translated by noted musician, actress, and dolphin expert Charo.]

Earl: Fa, it's good of you to speak with me on short notice.

Fa: Nee! Fa! Ta! (gurgle)

Charo: He say, "Ooooh!!! It is good to see you, hootchie goochie!"

Earl: Erm...right. Are you sure about the "hootchie goochie" part?

Charo: Oh, I am sorry. That was just me.

Earl: Well, I'm glad that Fa understands English at least. That'll save on some hootchie goochies.

Fa: Wa! Fa! Nee! Pa! Ha! Hoo! Chee! Goo! Chee!! (squeal)

Charo: He say something about what do you mean by "hootchie goochie."

Earl: Well, that was what you said, wasn't it?

Fa: Fa! Nee! Pa!

Charo: He say that you said it also and you shouldn't blame the hot, elderly Latin lady with the guitar.

Earl: Well, I'm not blaming... why did you bring the guitar anyway?

Charo: Actually, I was hoping to do a hoochie goochie number for a little extra publicity.

Earl: (pointing to the dock parking lot) Off!

**********

[Note: At this point the translation was taken over by noted actor and dolphin fan Robert De Niro]

Earl: Thanks for stepping in Robert.

Robert De Niro: Listen Earl, anything for a great fellow actor like Fa.

Fa: Ro! Nee! Ta! Zee! Dree! Vee!

Robert De Niro: (laughs) Fa, you are too kind. He said he loved Taxi Driver.

Earl: Who didn't? Now, about dolphins in the military...

Robert De Niro: (interrupting) I think you mean porpoises.

Earl: Beg pardon.

Robert De Niro: You said dolphins but the correct term is porpoise or "bottle-nosed dolphin."

Fa: Nee! Ta! Zee! Dree! Vee! Yee!

Earl: Well I'm terribly sorry to have caused any confusion, but after all, the film was titled The Day of the Dolphin.

Robert De Niro: You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?

Earl: Sorry?

Robert De Niro: You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking... you talking to me? Well I'm the only one here.

Earl: Let's not get excited Bob, I mean... it was only an observation.

Robert De Niro: (laughs) Oh, I'm sorry Earl! I wasn't talkin' to you. Fa asked me to do the Travis Bickle bit from Taxi Driver.

Fa: Wee! (shoots water from blowhole)

Earl: Well, that's a relief.

Robert De Niro: Yeah...dolphin, porpoise, I don't really give a crap. I was just noticing.

Earl: By the way Bob, how's Nobu's going?

Robert De Niro: (In a hushed voice) Don't talk about the seafood place in front of Fa.

Fa: Su! Shi! (swims away)

Robert De Niro: Ah %$&#, that's done it. (calling after Fa) I'm sorry Fa! You know Nobu only serves dolphin-free tuna!

**********

[Note: The remaining translation was provided by Earl Fando, who knows that dolphins are mammals, like raw fish, and sound squeaky.]

Earl: Fa, I'm glad you came back. So, what do you think about sea lions being used in concert with dolphins as part of this defence programme?

Fa: Nee! Fa! Zee! Wa! Pa! Dee!

Earl: Sorry, no idea what you just said. Is Charo still around?

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