Friday, December 7, 2012

Follow the Instructions--There May be an Important Reason for Them!

The recent biting of an 8 year old girl, Jillian Thomas, by a dolphin at sea World in Orlando, as reported by CNN, provides a great example of irresponsible people who can't follow simple instructions then believe they are entitled to compensation for what I refer to as: terminal stupidity.

While I am sorry that the girl was bitten by the dolphin, in reading the statements in the article it is clear that the parents forgot the first rule of parenting: parent are on duty 24/7 and as a result they became powerless bystanders (with a video on a cell phone to document the situation) in the relatively minor incident that now is being inflated into an apparent money making proposition.

Dolphins are wild animals! Treat them as such. I have been to Sea World Orlando and this attraction specifically and I found the instructions to be simple and clear--I believe if the instructions had been followed and enforced by the parents, who presumably are adults, then the incident would not have occurred.

The following statement baffles me:
Jamie Thomas said those feeding the dolphins were told the paper plate should stay on the wall, "but we really didn't know why." No one signed a disclaimer, and there were no signs indicating any risk, the father said.

I guess the risk is apparent now.  These seem to be the kind of people who would need someone to explain to them the significance of a fire alarm as it is blaring in and effort to get them to clear out of a building which is on fire.

The end result of this is incident is that Sea World will likely have to close or modify this hugely popular and enjoyable attraction. There will be a significant payment from the insurance company, there will be increased ticket prices AND there will be another example of terminal stupidity being rewarded by our misplaced legal system.

There will likely be another sign installed in the world with print too small to read the advise people that dolphins are wild animals.


What has been learned? Like the woman who received millions of dollars by burning herself with hot coffee, society has relearned that that dolphins are wild animals, fire alarms are important, instructions by the staff or crew are to be followed, and coffee is hot.

I call this--an intuitive grasp of the obvious!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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