The Listless Memories of Snooty, the Oldest Manatee in the World
Sixty-four years! My gosh! Where does the time go?
Seems like the '50s were only yesterday. What an era! So golden. Oh, son. What these fins have seen. Where this blow hole has been. I was so young, hungry and filled with life. Now I'm the oldest manatee in the world, a gosh-dang celebrity, a 1,200-pound sea cow hag. Hooey!
Getting old sucks.
Beh! Things have changed, man.
I remember the Bay so clean and pristine you could spend a whole week basking in its turquoise beauty. You'd catch me gently floating along an interior river canal, sunshine glistening off my wet whiskers. Those days felt like a big band ballad, just swinging, man; beautiful and timeless.
Snooty's golden era: the Fifties
Tell you one thing. There was no pollution back then.
Biggest pollution in the sea came from a Snooty fart; shucks, water was clean. No garbage dumped by these big greedy corporations; no human waste oozing from cruise ships; no deep water dredge projects; no oil spills creepin' down the Gulfstream from the bayou. Don't believe them when they say it's cleaned up. Meh! I saw an Angel Fish with jheri-curls just last week.
I turn 65 next year. Maybe I can finally get some descent health insurance in this country. I've been hearing the same crap my whole adult life: Snooty, you're too much of a "high risk" to insure. Between the shark-eat-shark nature of the sea, and the chaotic boaters in the Bay, the very setting where I live, the place I call home, has been considered one big pre-existing condition.
No shit the ocean's a pre-existing condition, ya ol' raggity frog wart insurance agent.
Know how many scars I have on my back? Ever feel a boat propeller dig its steel into your skin. Beh! It fuckin' hurts. My flesh ain't made of wrought iron. Meddling kids need to watch where they're going, zooming around the Bay all high on whatever they're smoking or drinking these days. Dang whippersnappers with their bath salts and their DMT and their Four Lokos. Hooey!
Let me tell you something. I haven't always been so grumpy. I used to be a playurrr, son.
I fucked a mermaid before T-Pain was ever on a boat.
Remember, I lived in the Magic City; you don't need a Starz subscription when you lived it. Been caught up in some crazy shit too. Witnessed the work of sickos like Ben Diamond firsthand; I've floated over corpses, seen rotted flesh. If you think zombies are walking around the streets of Miami, you should see some of the chum haunting the waters of this bay.
They keep me in an aquarium now. Feed me 80 pounds of vegetables daily.
Meh, I ain't complaining. I'm okay here.
Don't even know how you kids do it today. It's crazy out there.
Celebrate Snooty the Manatee's birthday during the free Wildlife Awareness Festival Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida. Or stay home and watch him on the SnootyCam. Either way, happy birthday, Snooty.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.