You're a pirate. You've been out to sea for months with no other company but your grimy pirate mates. You start to miss the company of the opposite sex. And then, one day, as the sun rises over the waves of a gentle sea, you spot a woman. Her hair flows down her back and as she turns toward you, her lustful brown eyes catch you in a net of entrapment. In one moment, you jump ship and swim with her to the depths in search of physical fulfillment.
Swimming deeper after your visionary beauty, you suddenly realize she's half fish. As your lungs scream for breath you start to wonder how the physics would actually work out. You gaze into her brown eyes and realize they don't hold the passion of unbridled lust, but a dull, cow-like emptiness. Come to think of it, she has quite a honker of a nose . . . and what happened to her hair? As your lungs curse the distance to the surface, your last thought is one shared by many a nightclubbers to this day, "What the hell was I thinking!?!"
Or simply, "Oh Shit!"
You have succumbed to the power of the dugong. Dugongs are marine mammals related to manatees (and distant relatives of the elephant). Supposedly sailors (after having one too many sips of sea water) mistook dugongs for sultry mermaids. Which, if you've ever seen a dugong, seems pretty desperate. For really, how long would a sailor have to be away from women in order to mistake a dugong for one?
The Sydney Aquarium now has two dugongs on display and Bob and I went to see them with our friend Kristin. While the dugongs are elegant in the water with their dolphin-like tail, their front end slightly resembles a cow. Dull brown eyes curiously view visitors as these gentle creatures graze on seagrass or swim playfully around their enclosure.
So my question to you gentlemen is: How long at sea would you have to be to mistake a dugong for a woman?