Orca, Straight Up
Tilikum Tilikum come wave your fin.
Make children laugh, let the fun begin,
let the money flow, let the crowd come and gasp,
for death sells many a Family Pass.
Tilikum Tilikum make us Believe you;
nobody drowned, and we Dine with Shamu
in a cartoon world that's built on denial.
A fin says you'll anthropomorphically smile.
Posted for Friday Flash 55 at the G-Man's
Many Pertinent Factoids extending beyond 55 words for those interested:
Slang a five-dollar bill ~dictionary.com
from wikipedia entry, Tilikum: "...Following a year long hiatus after his last killing, Tilikum returned to performing at SeaWorld Orlando on 30 March 2011...
"Tilikum was the feature of the SeaWorld show 'Believe'.....[he]measures 22.5 feet (6.9 m) long and weighs in at 12,300 pounds (5,600 kg), as of 2010. His pectoral fins are six and one half feet long, his flukes curl under, and his 6 feet (1.8 m)-tall dorsal fin is collapsed completely to his left side. He is the largest orca in captivity...[and] has been involved in the deaths of three people. Tilikum was captured near Iceland in November 1983 at about two years of age...
" ...First incident: While at Sealand, on February 21, 1991, Tilikum was involved in an incident which resulted in the death of a female trainer. The trainer slipped and fell into the tank with the whales. Tilikum, pregnant Haida II, and Nootka IV grabbed her in their mouths and tossed her to each other, presumably playing. The trainer subsequently drowned. The orcas had never had humans in the water with them before.
Second incident: Tilikum was at the scene of a death on July 6, 1999. A 27-year-old homeless male intruder was found floating naked in Tilikum’s pool...
Third incident: On February 24, 2010 Tilikum was involved in a third incident, when he killed Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old trainer...following a popular 'Dine with Shamu' show as at least two dozen tourists looked on...Tilikum pulled the trainer into the water by her ponytail, possibly mistaking it for a fish or thinking it was a toy. Brancheau's autopsy indicated death by drowning and blunt force trauma..."