The whale that makes me wail

The point of this post is selfish.  It is to help me get over a strong aversion I have to something I read about in my sons' book, Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures by Bonnie Worth. 

This one.  THIS. ONE.

Lately, my family has been very interested in the Alec Baldwin-narrated "Frozen Planet", which I love watching, too.  My husband also loves Whale Wars, but I prefer to call that Whale Snores.  zzzzzzzzzzzz  So. Boring.  I DO like learning about sea life, however, so I bought my boys this book above. As I'm smiling and reading to them about fish, really odd sea life on the sea floor and NARWHALS (the tusk-bearing, unicorn-looking, whales), I suddenly am faced with something that I kept hidden from my mind for so long.  Something that I knew deep down but chose to forget.  Something I buried in my mind.  Something I didn't want to see AGAIN.

(Hold.  You want a narwhal break, don't you?  Alright, STOP...narwhal time.)

Weirdos.  Source

Break over.

Here's the fact I didn't want to face: Baleen whales have no teeth.

Oh, man.  Give me a minute.  Give me a dadgone stinkin' minute to breathe deep inside this brown paper bag I have in my hands.  Inhaaaaaaaaaaaaale.  Exxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxhale.  Inhaaaaaaaaa--

Oh, wow.  Wow.  Whoa. 

So, soooooooooooooo gross.

Okay, let's take a look at a NORMAL whale.  The pretty whales they have at Sea World. The pretty KILLER whales they have at Sea World.


See their teeth?  They're gorgeous little white teeth?  I mean, they can be mean, mean, mean gorgeous little white teeth that will tear us all to shreds, but, thank God above, they're teeth.

May I show you the baleen whale now?

As much as I hate to do it, I feel this is the only way I can get through the reading of that book up there.  My sons love that book.  I must deal with this awful, awful truth.

Baleen whales have "baleen plates" that help them filter food from the water.  The blue and Humpback whales are types of baleen whales.


See them?  See them?  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!  Goodnessgraciousabove, look at those things!!!  What in the HECK?!?  The dang thing eats with a white MOUSTACHE!!!!!!!  I'm going to be SICK!  This is more than I can take.  Absolutely more than I can take.  I'm trying to desensitize myself here, but I'm on the verge of calling 911.  I need oxygen.

Why?  Why the baleen plates?  I mean, I get it. They filter out what they don't want so they can chow down on the plankton.  These freaky nets hanging from their jaws enable them to eat plankton stew, plankton subs, plankton enchiladas and plankton tortellini. Tortellini baleeni.

I get it.

But, I don't like it.

If I had arrived to Sea World and saw baleen whales putting on a show, I'd march my butt past the flamingos showing off by standing on one leg ("I can stand on one leg, too, you skinny pink bird!  Whoopdeedoo!"), wade through the huge Shamu strollers ("This isn't the time to be taking out my kneecaps with a gigantic plastic whale head!  I'm filing a formal complaint about that dingdang baleen I just saw during that show.  Did you see the freakin' baleen?!?  I NEED MY KNEECAPS!") and right up to the front of the Sea World to demand my money back.

"You expect me to pay full price to watch a whale with a white moustache hang from his mouth while doing flips?!  He's got a dang moustache hanging BELOW his mouth.  He EATS with it, son!  He EATS with it. You think I'm going to PAY to look at white shreds of..what?  HAIR?!  Hair-like strands swaying in the water?  You think I packed my bag, my kids' bags, half of my husband's bag, sprayed everybody with sunscreen, packed snacks and arranged for someone to get the paper from our yard so that I could come HERE to stare at nasty hair teeth? UH-UH!!  No, sir! I DON'T THINK SO, MAN!"

That would be me.

What I probably need to do is find where this little girl is below and just spend hours playing that baleen like a harp.  Maybe bury my face in it.  Just get right in it's business.

Bryde's whale baleen

That sweet girl is petting the baleen like it's a soft bunny she just got for Easter.  Like it's a horse's mane.  Like it's a golden retriever.  Did that girl ever know she's my hero?  And everything I would like to be?

Okay.  That's it, friends.  That's all I can do today in the way of desensitizing myself.  You can't push someone to take on more than they can take in a day. 

Can somebody pour me a nice TALL ice cold mug of Pepto Bismol now, please?

Is there any animal, or part of an animal, that makes you want to dry heave?  Please help me feel normal here.