An occasional series reflecting on significant moments in Vore history.
We honeymooned in Vancouver. We made sure everyone we met along the way knew it too. The airline stewardess, who in turn announced it overhead so everyone else on the plane knew as well. Our rental car attendant. Waiters and waitresses. And oh the free things that came our way! Free dessert. Free glasses of champagne. Free passes to this and that. “How long do you think we can stretch this?” Erin asked Ben one night as they clinked champagne classes. “Five years?”
On our third day we went to the Vancouver Aquarium. During a lull in the dolphin show, one of the aquarium staffers announced that there would be a contest for two free whalewatching tickets. He needed three volunteers from the crowd. Erin raised her hand with gusto. He told her to come on down.
The emcee introduced the contestants, asking each what had brought them to Vancouver. Erin was last, and she happily announced that she was on her honeymoon. The crowd applauded. Clearly she was the fan favorite, especially in her wifiest black and white polka dot dress.
Once the introductions were made, the emcee announced the contest: Recreate the most authentic beluga whale mating call, with the winner chosen by audience applause. Erin went third.
The first two contestants wailed and moaned with suitable passion, coming close to what one might imagine as the sound an aroused beluga whale eager to showcase his sexual prowess would make. The crowd applauded politely and laughed at the especially excessive groaning.
Then it was Erin’s turn. The emcee handed her the mike. Silence descended upon the crowd.
In singsong Erin said, “I want some bah-looooooooo-ga-ah bay-bies.”
The crowd erupted. Ben imagines that random strangers high-fived one another while dolphins did backflips in the pool, although this may not have really happened.
Erin won in a landslide. We pocketed the two tickets and used them two days later to explore the Gulf and San Juan Islands, where after two fruitless hours a pack of orca swam directly toward our boat.
The driver cut the engine. “Be very quiet and don’t move!” he hissed. “They’re coming right for us.”
Sure enough they were. As if somehow they were locked on to some unknown signal, some siren song that was steering them directly toward us…
“Hey, are you humming?” Ben whispered to Erin as the whales got closer.
“Hmmm?” Erin said. “Why? Oh.”
She stopped. The whales passed directly underneath us. One broke through the water just a few feet on the other side of the boat. Everyone held their breath.
When they had moved off into the distance, the guide chirped happily, “That was close! They almost never get that close.”
Erin and Ben exchanged knowing looks.