AN OPEN LETTER TO DOLPHIE
Hey, you! The one with the dorsal fin! Yeah, the aquatic mammal that performs tricks and too often gets confused for a fish.
I want to thank you.
You are far and away the best possible mascot a school could ask for. We’re talking an all-timer.
The sea is a wonderland for dolphins such as yourself, and you navigate the vastness of the oceans with pleasure and ease. You always seem to maintain the best possible attitude, outwardly showing positivity while remaining wholly inquisitive.
What more could a student or fan want out of a mascot?
You work as part of a team. You talk to your podmates, using both verbal and physical communication to solve disputes (I assume. I can’t tell; maybe you’re always just laughing at something very funny).
You click almost as much as my fellow students and I do when we’re on our computers. You whistle even more than Andrew Bird.
And you learn oh so adroitly. So many teachers are secretly hoping more students in fields from chemistry to calculus were like you.
According to “Science Magazine,” the academic journal I’m sure your whole pod subscribes to, “Bottlenose dolphins have bigger brains than humans (1600 grams versus 1300 grams), and they have a brain-to-body-weight ratio greater than great apes do (but lower than humans).”
Yes, humans have taken advantage of your outsized intelligence occasionally. We’ve made movies about you, paid good money to swim in your general vicinity and even taken pictures of ourselves riding fake versions of you.
Even our military utilizes you to help us humans out sometimes.
In 2015, Meghann Myers detailed the different marine mammal military missions in the “Navy Times,” saying, “Today, there are 90 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and 50 California sea lions in the program. Most of the dolphins were bred by the Navy in San Diego, from some that were caught in the wild by contractors back in the '80s.”
You’re probably based out of Bangor.
I digress: I know you’re really into this technical style of writing, but you also love the prose of a Whitman or a Wilde. I have two last words to describe you, my friend: mentally nimble.
Thank you for letting us, SCC, have you as our mascot. We are not alone (salute to our brethren in Miami), but we bear the standard proudly.
And I just wanted to let you know that we humans see you. We have respect. Game recognize game.
We have the top spot on Earth for now, but if we keep burning emissions and global warming causes the sea level to rise, we might have to let you take the reins for a few years. Despite the whole opposable thumb issue, you can probably handle the wheel a bit better than we can.
A two-legged landlubber.
P.S. All hail Dan Marino.
<Check back next issue for part two of our series on mascots.>