A waterslide in the middle of the ocean’s a big project. I mean, it’s a pretty enormous project. It was the board of trustees’ idea to situate the thing out in the Pacific Basin, where Canada curls into Alaska. We took a boat out there one pouring day, set up a research station. That’s where I work: in the state-of-the-art design suite.
I spent hours with those blueprints. I got creative. Extending a twist here, add a loop-de-loop there. A fork split into a jump, slide and curl. This’d be a doozy. It would be molded hard and thick of red fiberglass in Korea and shipped here on a barge the size of Shea Stadium. Tickets would be hundreds of dollars, transportation and wetsuit included. To test the damn thing, we needed a whale.
A female orca calf’s about the weight of an obese American. Our guys got to thinking, why not use what we’ve got? There’s a conservation area off St. Lawrence; we just hired a handling team to pick one up. She was livid, as you might expect. We fed her giant salmon that thrashed pink in her tub.