October 10, 2010

A Sketch From The Ocean Park

The stars of the dolphin show at the ocean park in Hualien are likely more intelligent than the presenters. But they were both light years ahead of the volunteer from the audience, a ten-year-old boy who was asked to give an addition or multiplication problem whose answer would be ten or less. The dolphin was to give the answer with slaps of his tail. But the kid couldn't come up with the question, instead settling on the tired and true fallback of "I don't know." This went on for far too long before the bubbly host went for the fake and told the kid to whisper in her ear what his question for the bottle-nosed dolphin was. " Eight Plus Two" she shouted to game approval from the crowd of a couple hundred. The dolphin gave the answer with ten slaps of the tail and the crowd was about as excited as you could imagine. The audience volunteers were to be given prizes in exchange for their cooperation and an assistant emerged with a picture of the mascot with maybe a button attached to it. The reticent child spoke distinctly when he said into the microphone not "Thank You" but "Can I change it for something else?" to which a few dozen audience members quickly fell just short of booing to show the brat their disappointment. We all watched on the giant screen as he scampered up the steps of the arena to meet his approving mother.

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