Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eaten by Michael Phelps?

Courtesy of Lawrence Person, further evidence that the crew at The Onion has been trolling this blog:

Michael Phelps Returns To His Tank At Sea World
The Onion, August 21, 2008

ORLANDO—Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist and SeaWorld main attraction Michael Phelps returned to his seven-million-gallon water tank Wednesday to resume his normal schedule of performing in six shows a day for marine park crowds every day of the week.

Phelps, the 6'4", 200-pound aquatic mammal, and the first ever SeaWorld swimmer to be raised in captivity by foster swimmers (Mark Spitz and Dara Torres), was recaptured by trainer Bob Bowman in a hoop net baited with an entire Dutch apple pie following Phelps' final Olympic event last Sunday. Phelps was then tethered to the rudder of a container ship bound for St. Petersburg, guided down local waterways, and introduced back into his home habitat, the tank in SeaWorld's 5,500 seat stadium, known to park officials and visitors alike as "Phelps' Happy Harbor."

"Michael seemed really excited to be back," said Bowman, adding that the male swimmer became playful upon entering his tank, breaching the water and sounding repeatedly. "He just started swimming freestyle and backstroke, and only stopped to slide belly first onto the tank's platform so he could be fed dozens of fried egg sandwiches."

Cf., "Eating Michael Phelps," NFOTF, August 15

Of course, their take on the story is funnier.

More seriously, what better confirmation of the weird subtext of the media narrative of this All-American mutant wonderboy? Our attention was drawn the other day to reports that Phelps even has noticeable physiological advantages over normal humans, with "paddle-sized hands," "flipper-sized feet," and legs that are disproportionately short relative to his massive torso. We can't wait to see his web-footed children.

(Hyper-specialization may be where capital wants you to go, but that doesn't mean you can't hold out for a more diverse, but still accomplished, life.)


MarkLWilliams said...

And who can blame them for reading this blog?

Chris (and Jayme!), good catching up with you at DilloCon!

Hope New Mexico was fun...

Let me know when you head out to "Apocalypse's Edge," here in El Lay, for a visit...

Chris Nakashima-Brown said...

Thanks, Mark. Likewise, and I hope to be in L.A. before year's end. As for New Mexico, nothing like setting out on a hike at dawn, through the white sand dunes of a national park, and getting buzzed by an F-4 Phantom banking low and fast, not a hundred feet from our heads. That's my kind of hike!