I Hope It’s Okay That I Brought My Therapy Dolphin To Your Party

Hi, Janine! Thanks for the invitation to your party! And might I say, you are looking fabulous! You must have lost twenty, thirty pounds at least. Is that “keto-friendly” diet working?

Oh, really? How long did the doctor say you had left? Well, you can pack a lot of living into eight months. Chin up.

I see you’ve noticed this dolphin I’m cradling in my arms. Yeah, this is Christian Grey. Grey, obviously, because of his color. And Christian because I’m raising him in the faith. Say, do you still have that swimming pool? ‘Cause he gets cranky when he’s out of the water for too long. Really? You never had one? I could have sworn you did. Oh, well. Guess it’s the bathtub for this guy.

Shhhh, Christian! Shhhh! We’re getting you some water, bud. Enough with the chattering!

No, this is totally legal. In fact, he’s a prescription dolphin. You remember about six months ago when I was having all that malaise after my Etsy store failed? Well, I went to the doctor, and I was right. Clinical Malaise. Stage 4. They said I could have a therapy animal, and they gave me this brochure. Right away, I settled on the dolphin. They said that was mainly for people who lived in or near the ocean, and they tried to talk me into a fawn or a hedgehog, but I was adamant. Dolphin or nothing. Christian and I have been together ever since. Best part? My company’s paying for the whole thing. And it is costing them plenty.

But, anyway, yeah, we really need to get him into that tub, like, ASAP. By the way, whose party is this? Yours? Well, congratulations! Sorry I didn’t bring anything. I literally had my hands full with Christian Grey. You understand. Is that hummus?

Honestly, I have no idea what dolphins eat. Fish, I guess. Or seaweed. Or whatever there is in the ocean. For a while, I was just giving him what I had left over from what I was eating. Pizza, Chinese food, etc. But that seemed wasteful, you know, giving people food to an animal. So now I just throw some dry cat food into his tank. Well, when I say “tank,” I mean this big inflatable swimming pool that I keep in the back yard.

You seriously never had an in-ground pool here? I could have sworn that you did. I must be thinking of someone else.

But, yeah, he’s my therapy dolphin. I guess he’s, like, therapeutic and junk sometimes, but goddamn, is it difficult to travel with him. Sometimes, I almost wish I had taken that therapy ostrich they tried to give me. At least that I could ride around on. And, just between you and me, Janine, the intelligence of dolphins is way overrated. I threw a Rubik’s Cube into his tank one time, thinking he’d solve it in a minute. But he barely even looked at it. And that word association test? Complete waste of time.

He does let me hug him, though, when I’m feeling anxious or sad. Which is pretty much all the time these days. I call him my little cuddle bunny, even though he’s, like, slimy. I guess I could be hugging a wet garbage bag full of gym socks and get the same effect, but it wouldn’t be alive, you know?

I brought him to this party because I knew there would be some people here who had backed me when I started the Etsy store. Including you, Janine, now that I think of it. It really wasn’t my fault, though, that the store failed. Honestly, how was I to know that I’d lose interest in crocheting immediately after buying all that yarn and that warehouse to keep the yarn? I guess I was a little overzealous when asking for startup capital, but that’s no reason for people to judge me so harshly. No worries. If I start to feel judged, I can just hug Christian Grey. Isn’t that right, Christian?

I’m one of the few people who can be around him, actually. He bites just about anyone else who puts their hands anywhere near his mouth or eyes, including kids. Especially kids. So don’t let Ethan get near him. Isn’t that the name of your little boy? Oh no? I had no idea, Janine. Well, “barren” is such a harsh word. Try “child-free” instead. Count your blessings.

You want to know the craziest part of this? In the six months he’s spent with me, Christian’s actually developed severe clinical depression. Yeah, he’s been trying to hurl himself out of his tank and onto the lawn a lot lately. Have you ever heard of anything so pathetic? What a dummy. You see what I mean about the intelligence of dolphins being overhyped.

But it’s not all bad, Janine. In fact, the doctors just told me that Christian Grey is so depressed that he’s now entitled to his own therapy animal. Isn’t that wild? And since he can’t talk or fill out insurance forms, I get to pick out his animal for him.

I’m thinking giraffe.