So Long, And Thanks for All the Fucks
(book selected by WildCard)
Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover is the semi-fictitious memoir of a man who fucked a dolphin. It chronicles Malcom J. Brenner’s experience working as a photographer at a dolphin exhibit, a period during which he manages to fall in love with – and fuck – one of the show dolphins. In addition to the dolphin banging, the book also details Brenner’s difficulty maintaining relationships with female humans, his far-out experiences getting stoned and transcending the physical plane, and finally, his academic rejection by the scientists who are ethical enough to study dolphins without fucking them. There’s also a shower scene where he reminisces about fucking his parent’s poodle when he was 13. I don’t know.
The book opens with an always-promising apology its his poor-quality writing. “I am sure that almost anybody could write a better novel than this,” Brenner states, and I am inclined to agree with him. It’s a curious thing that he chose to apologize for his writing rather than for fucking a caged animal, but after suffering through 350 pages of his rambling, I’m honestly not sure which was Brenner’s worse crime. Sentences like this: “I was the smoked turkey in a student hoagie, eleven layers of meat and cheesiness sandwiched in a crunchy old station wagon, marijuana mayo, hold the onion, rumbling down Orange Avenue toward the Gulf Beaches of Siesta Key” made me wish he’d just hurry up and get to the dolphin-banging part – until he did.
And so the majority of the book is simply a nostalgic, burnt-out old fuck trying to wax poetic paragraph, Brenner details rolling up a joint on the beach as such: “And suddenly – I was [watching a nature documentary]! My hands became alien arachnoid appendages, grotesque white crabs going about their business, detached from the mind observing them. That mind didn’t speak, but it was keen, and if its thoughts could have been put into words…” blah blah blah, weed is pretty far out, dig it, man? The book is basically a case-in-point for why the revelations you have while tripping balls do not a good story make.
This brings me to the next major portion of the book – Brenner’s attempts to rationalize and justify his fucking of a dolphin. He feigns innocence by claiming that the dolphin came on to him, and spends way too much time describing how exactly the dolphin would do so. But the fact that a caged creature, separated from its normal social structures and trained by humans to be affectionate in exchange for fish, may get confused and aroused when its captors play with it doesn’t really justify fucking the thing, does it? Isn’t this justification at best hopelessly cynical and at worst pure evil?
No, you idiot, because the dolphin could communicate with Brenner telepathically. On many nights during his tenure at the aquarium, Brenner would go home, get stoned and naked, and then jerk off while pretending to be a dolphin. During these episodes, the dolphin would enter Brenner’s mind and speak with him – professing love, teaching him about dolphins and learning about humanity. It was only after several mind-sexting sessions that Brenner finally decided he should go fuck the dolphin in person. I couldn’t find telepathy listed as a form of consent under any legal system anywhere in the world, but whatever. Classic case of The Man keeping us down.
Brenner also spends a lot of time taking pot-shots at researchers for rejecting his story as bullshit. It seems that interspecies telepathic communication and plane-transcending love is not a priority for cetologists, or biologists, or anyone, really. And this is where the book gets really depressing, because at the end of the day it’s the tale of a lonely dolphin-fucker who believes in magic. But magic doesn’t exist, and I really wish this book didn’t either.