Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Two Anthropomorphic Tails


US Military courtroom. Two naval officers sit at the presiding
judges’ table. An empty chair between them. They rise and salute
as the Chief Brass comes in and takes his seat. One sits, the other
stands and reads from the charge sheet.

United States Military Court Martial, presiding
Naval Commander R. Roger Cofax

What are the charges ?

Breach of article 85 of the military code, that being
desertion. And/or article 86 that being absence
without leave. That on the 30th April of this year, the
accused abandoned his mission at Umm Qasr and
headed out for the open sea and was only
apprehended by naval forces following the signal
from a transponder that was supposed to have been set in place as
the purpose of the original mission


A huge jet of water lands on the floor in front of their table, causing
them to recoil.

Pan to DEFENCE ATTORNEY, also in military uniform, albeit with
shorts and flip flops. She stands in front of a large, indeterminate
(water) tank.

My client refuses to acknowledge the validity of this
kangaroo court !

He’s not your client. You aren't contracted to him. You are merely representing-

DEFENCE turns to pick something out of a bucket by her table
and throw it into the tank behind her, where it lands with a small

- And anymore of that behaviour and I will hold the
accused in contempt -

A dolphin chewing on a fish pops his head over the rim of the tank
and wafts its flipper in dismissive contempt

- ... He is a serving member of the US Navy and
therefore will recognise the authority of this court

Dolphin squeals its high pitch talk.

What’s that ? What did he say ?

He firstly is a she, which leads directly into the fact
that she never enlisted in Uncle Sam’s military

No, she was drafted ...

Dolphin flaps its flippers sending water out the tank, soaking
DEFENCE attorney.

DEFENCE (spluttering water)
Press-ganged you mean ! There was no consent in
this. As you said, no contract by dint of being a citizen

If I’m not mistaken, she formerly resided at Marine
World Florida, which when I last checked was part of
the United Sates. I also noticed that her father
rendered our country service in Vietnam, as part of
our Viet Cong swimmer nullification programme

Dolphin points flipper accusingly at judges and squeaks at such a
pitch, all the humans have to put their hands over their ears.

She says to leave her late, lamented father out of
this. You corrupted his and all their species’ goodwill
towards human beings, by teaching them how to
attack certain others of your species they used to hold in high

Hey, that’s war sister

Dolphin does a somersault.

War is a human conceit, not a cetacean one

Oh really ? And what of the brutal attacks by her mob on lone
porpoises ? We have them on film

Blackmail only reinforces our contention that military
service cannot be said to be voluntary

I don’t see any conscientous objection to those
military fish rations currently being provided for. In
fact that have been provided for since birth by the
generosity of the US Navy. All we were asking was
a little quid pro quo. Some service to offset her
upkeep. Lending us her sonar abil-

DOLPHIN does a jump and lands with a huge splash.

The only thing likely to be offset, was the explosion
of a mine on these suicidal missions

Listen Miss- what rank are you anyway ?

I’m only attached to the Navy as her trainer -

The judges confer.

I have to warn you that I won’t have insuburdination
within my courtroom. Nor within my Navy. That
creature obviously has too much a mind of its own to
be relied upon in combat conditions. I recommend
immediate dishonourable discharge with loss of
pension ... and for it to be returned to the wild, rather
than the comfort of an aquarium -

DOLPHIN claps its flippers together in applause.

You can’t ! She’s only ever known captivity -

COFAX rises from his seat. DEFENCE attorney tips whole
bucket of fish in tank. Large foam trail as dolphin goes on feeding

Dolphins are supposed to be so smart, she’ll figure
a way to adapt

DOLPHIN ‘whispers’ something in her DEFENCE attorney’s ear.

My client states that the same intelligence that led
you to train her into indentured service, came to the
self-evident conclusion not to go nosing around high
explosive. That is not insubordination, that’s self-
defence. She also would like to point out, if you
didn’t dump so much jetsam in your harbours, which
incidently take a high toll on her brothers and sisters
in the ocean, then you’d be able to scan these
bombs for yourselves

COFAX walks up to the tank and draws his ceremonial sword.

Save it for the Vets’ association ...

If you cashier her, she won’t be admitted will she ?

No, I was referring to the vetenarians. The bleeding
heart animal brigade ... Fish ?

Dolphin sheepishly hands back a half-eaten fish. Props the front
half of its body up on the rim of the tank. We clearly see now 2
cameras attached to each flipper.
COFAX takes his sword and severs each camera from the fin.
Dolphin bows its head and slips slowly back beneath the water.

* * * * *


Tail-end view of a (Terrier) DOG as it saunters merrily along
a suburban street. Following it as it sniffs scents in the air and on
the ground. As it chases momentarily after a butterfly. As it bounds
up to another larger dog and they engage in their mutual identifying
ritual. The tail wags in close up, the dog is happy.

The DOG arrives at the entrance to a park. There is a sign up with
a silhouette of a dog on a leash and another silhouetted dog
running free, with a big X through the picture. The DOG pauses,
wees on the mounting pole, then looks around and enters the park,
tail still wagging. More of the same sniffing and scenting in this
green setting.

DOG jounces over to flower bed and tree area. There is another
sign, silhouetting a dog’s rear ejecting excrement, with a pooper-
scopper shovel poised underneath. The DOG barks at the sign,
then looks around manically til he spots the bin for doggy-do. He
wafts his nose up into the air to test the bouquet. He excitedly
circles on the spot, his wagging tail thumping the stanchion of the
bin with each circle.Then he puts his paws on the bin, but can’t
reach inside. He holds this pose in silence for a period, before
meekly jumping back down and trotting off.

Arrives in front of a kiddy playground, wire fenced off. DOG
begins to dig, but looks up to ‘see’ a sign with a circled silhouette
of a dog and the red line through it. The DOG gives a sighing
whimper, before bounding off.

DOG leaves the park via crawling through some bushes. Back on
a street. Night is falling. Walks pass a Korean restaurant without
reacting. Chases after a cat half-heartedly and soon gives up.
Stops for a scratch. Walking along the kerb of a deserted road.
There is a road sign with ‘Sharp Bend’ hazard (ie a dog leg). Dog
walks up to it, sniffs it and starts humping the pole mount. A car
passes and a beer can comes flying out of the window
accompanied by a gruff male voice.

Gerrouta it ya dirty mutt !

DOG runs off further into the night. He passes a sign reading ‘NO
FLY TIPPING’, with a swarm of flies buzzing around it. Soon
picking his way through cars parked on the verge, with their
headlights dimmed. Now he picks his way through a gaggle of
people who seem to be staring at a single car parked up ahead.
Voices mutter as DOG passes through them.

Blimey, there’s a dog here !

Yeah, who let the dogs out ?


DOG barks

(Subtitles scroll across screen with each bark) ‘Make Way’,
‘Coming through now’, ‘Watch yourself there’.

Eventually DOG arrives at the car that they seem to be focussing
on. The windows are steamed up. There is some slight vibration
of the car chassis, visible at the DOG’s ground level. DOG barks
once more.


Rear door of car swings open and DOG jumps up inside. Cheers
and wolf-whistles from spectators. Car door shuts.

MAN steps forward from crowd and advances to rear window and
peers in under his hand.

Window winds down electronically and beer can flies out and hits
man on forehead. He staggers back. Window shuts. Car resumes
gentle rocking.

1 comment:

Agnieszkas Shoes said...

Marvelous. A Few Good Men with dolphins. And cetacean is a word we don't see often enough these days