Anchors In

For the weekend of their fifteenth anniversary, Joel had booked a room at The Anchors Inn, next door to the Whale Oasis Inn at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. Joel pictured them fishing, eating fish {preferably fish he had caught} and visiting fish at Underwater World. Mandy, on the other hand, had planned shopping, romantic dinners {perhaps not fish} and walks along a moonlit beach. They were aware they were stereotypes, who could not be after fifteen years, and were looking forward to a weekend of arguments and make-up sex. This formula had worked for all these years so why should it fail now.

Friday night went exactly to plan. They arrived two hours late after underestimating the pace of traffic on the Bruce Hwy. Bickered as they showered and dressed. Argued over a dinner of garlic prawns and salad {her}, garlic prawns and chips {him}. Walked along the beach in the rain happily {her}, grumpily {him}. Fell over what looked like a stranded whale. All in all a satisfying Friday ended with perfunctory sex {they were both tired} and a good night’s sleep.

Saturday morning found them on a three hour fishing cruise, Joel happily sunk a line with all the husbands, whilst Mandy stripped down to bikinis and grumpily sunbaked with the wives.  Joel hooked a whale. No one had ever hooked a whale before in the whole history of the three hour fishing tour. During the backslapping, photo taking, whale releasing, Joel had a moment of disquiet. It had been too easy; it was as if the whale had wanted to be caught. As they showered, dressed, argued before lunch Mandy scoffed at his unease. “Why would a whale want to be caught??”

As they ate tuna and salad {her}, tuna and chips {him} at the Whale Oasis Inn, they bickered lightly about shopping versus Underwater World, affectionately dividing the afternoon in half so as to do both.

At Underwater World amongst the stingrays and baby sharks, Joel came face to face with a whale. It took up most of the tank and seemed to be staring straight into his soul {if he’d had a soul and hadn’t been a stereotypical male who didn’t think of such things as souls}. Disconcerted he suggested they leave early to go shopping. Mandy {not being all that interested in fish} was happy to leave. She had not seen the whale. When he mentioned it she told him he was hallucinating and needed to stay out of the sun.

That night, as they walked along Mooloolaba beach a sudden tempest blew. One moment wonderful romantic moonlight, the next darkness, wind, rain. Shakespeare would have been proud of such a storm. Trapped on the beach they huddled together against the sand dunes. Occasionally lightning would strike illuminating the sea in all its force. One such strike revealed a pod of whales directly in front of them in what once had been shallows but was now deep. The largest of these whales opened his mouth wide. In shock they watched as a human being was burped onto the sands at their feet.  Naked he rose walked over to Joel and Mandy and introduced himself  “Hi! I’m Jonah”.

He sat down on the sand next to them, ignoring their discomfort at his nakedness. “The whales sent me! They’re worried you humans are going to stuff up their earth, so they‘ve sent me to spread the word. I’m the Environmental Messiah. Joel, Mandy, we’re going to work together. Spread the news. It’s gonna be great!”

Joel and Mandy forgot their stereotypicalness. The moon came out and shone upon the new Messiah resting on his laurels on Mooloolaba beach. They forgot to bicker, they forgot make-up sex and shopping. All of a sudden it made sense, they had a purpose beyond themselves.  Joel reached over and shook Jonah’s hand “Welcome to Queensland mate!!”

“Glad to be here!! Do you know a great place where I could eat dinner? I’m tired of plankton!”

So a new era began with garlic prawns and salad {Mandy and Jonah} and garlic prawns and chips {Joel}.

Copyright April 2013


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