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Manatee Genitalia

As a kid for some reason I liked manatees. Back then they were not a cool animal to like. All the cool kids at school liked big cats... your tigers, lions, pumas, etc. I think it was because I saw an episode of Reading Rainbow about them. I think they look so cute! With those tiny eyes, fingernails on their flippers, and those prehensile lips.

On a Saturday morning my dad told me to watch a show about manatees. It was an episode of Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. The whole show was just a thinly veiled ad for SeaWorld. I saw it and was convinced to go to SeaWorld San Diego to see the manatees.

The trip was an 8th grade graduation present. We went a few days after the school year ended. We drove there during morning rush hour but the traffic was not so bad. I listened to my No Doubt CDs on the ride over there.

We got to SeaWorld almost when it opened. We saw Shamu. It was really a person in a Shamu costume. He waved to us as we entered. His handler was dressed as a pirate.

The first thing I wanted to see was the manatees. There were these two kids looking at them. I think they looked about 7 years old or somewhere around there. The kid sees the manatee and points and says “That’s his penis!” The kid practically yelled it to the other kid that was with them. My mom got mad because I wanted to burst out laughing. After we left the manatee exhibit it lead into a gift shop. Each gift shop had themed souvenirs to what you had seen. In the gift shop Jack Hanna's program played. I got some manatee stuff. A SeaWorld postcard with manatees on it. I used to collect postcards from about 1998-2003.

And a small plastic manatee figure.

Then we went to see the dolphin show. I enjoyed watching the dolphins flipping in the air. When I was a kid one of my relatives gave me a Dolly Dolphin purse. So I recognized her on the souvenirs.

After the dolphin show we went to see the Killer Whale show. My mom told me that when she went to SeaWorld as a kid she sat too close and got wet. I didn’t want to get wet either. I thought “The whale goes to the bathroom in that tank.” I didn't want to sit in the “splash zone”. The younger kids were enjoying getting wet from the whale splashing, as it was a hot day. Mom didn’t want to get wet again, so we ended up sitting in the nosebleed part. I didn’t mind because we could still see the whales. It was funny when they made it look like the whale was watching the film on the screen. They were just feeding it to get it to stay there. After the show there was a q&a session with the trainer. A crowd gathered around. I thought since I had seen many shows on TV about training killer whales and how they command them with hand signals that if I did random hand signals I could get the whale to do something. I did some hand signals and it looked like the whale did something, but it might have been a coincidence.

We didn’t want to ride the Wild Arctic ride, so we asked if we could just go through the room and go to the polar exhibit. When we entered a group of people were gathered around a part of the tank disgusted. So I go over there to see it. It’s a walrus chewing on cud or something. It’s showing off what it is eating to the guests. Then everybody walked away from it. Poor walrus. Nobody seemed to be paying attention to it. The polar bears were so cute. They were playing with balls. The people were awwing at them. There were also some beluga whales in the exhibit too.

This was back when SeaWorld was owned by Anheuser-Busch, so there were some Clydesdale stables. I had a bad experience with Clydesdale horses at the county fair as a child. For a while I was terrified of them. Just Clydesdales, not all horses. There was a foal and I wasn’t too scared of that. I did work up the courage to pet the nose of an adult Clydesdale.

There were some manta rays in a pool. The way they swam around made it look like they were waving at you. I really wanted to pet one, but they were not swimming near me for some reason. I stuck my arm really deep into the pool to touch them, like up to my elbow. I got in trouble for sticking my arm so deeply in there. I had to go to the bathroom and wash my arm.

The sea lions were one of the last things we saw before we went back home. I was being mischievous and barking at them. I wanted to see if they barked back and they did.

Shamu was there at the exit and my dad took a picture with him.

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pikachulover Posted on Jun 19, 2018 at 06:17 PM

@Hoju I think the manatees were a new addition in the late 90s. That was the point of the Jack Hanna show to tell you the manatees were at SeaWorld San Diego.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Jun 19, 2018 at 04:46 PM

Having just returned from my kid's first trip to SeaWorld this was very relatable. I totally remember those Pirate handlers for the costumed characters back in the day from when we went to SeaWorld as 6th grade field trip in the early 90s. This time around we got a picture with "Shamu", though there was no official Shamu merchandise anywhere except for an ice cream bar, which I quickly purchased. Did not come across any Manatees though.

pikachulover Posted on Jun 19, 2018 at 08:22 AM

@Vapor I was having a hard time thinking of a title for this and I didn't want a generic title like "Sea World Trip" or something like that.

@Superman Those shows are fun too bad people don't really like them anymore.

Superman Posted on Jun 18, 2018 at 11:38 PM

I've never been to SeaWorld, but I did once see a dolphin show at the zoo. It was fun. Some of the things you describe, like the audience getting splashed, happened to me there.

Vaporman87 Posted on Jun 18, 2018 at 07:04 PM

LOL! I was totally thrown off by the title of this article, but it seems appropriate considering the destination and the hilarious statement from the kids. Nice to read about a trip you had that was more enjoyable and meaningful to you.

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