Yes, they’re beautiful, and their colours are as bold and distinct as an Oreo’s—dunked in the Pacific rather than milk — but do not be fooled: orcas are killer whales. Murderous whales. Homicidal whales. Don’t let SeaWorld and early ’90s films deceive you. These baleens are out for blood. And they are out for you.
As new students from the Interior, eastern provinces, landlocked prairies, or any community removed from the West Coast arrive at UVic to attend class and brighten their future, so do they enter a hazardous environment. Yes, it’s one where snow-capped mountains and glistening waters meet at the horizon, but within that wondrous vista are the Freddie Kruegers of marine life.
The following is supplementary information originally intended to accompany UVic orientation/welcome packages for new students. Due to budget cuts and increased spending on the university’s anniversary, “How to Kill an Orca” was not included in a complimentary bag that features a Students’ Union Building (SUB) mug, campus map and student coupon book. Below is a condensed version, called “Best Ways to Kill an Orca.”
1. Jam the Blowhole
If ejected from the jaws of a killer whale and across the water’s surface like a sea lion turned skipping stone, immediately assume the fetal position.
The fetal position is always safest. It is fetal, as in the first position you ever assumed; it will — without question — provide you deep-rooted psychological comfort and temporarily convince you that you are back in the womb.
NOTE: It is best to assume the fetal position mid-skipping or while airborne so as to avoid possible concussion or head injury after impact with water. Once submerged, allow the killer to approach. Permit close physical contact and latch onto dorsal fin. When the killer surfaces, with a hand still firmly gripped on rubbery fin, plunge your other fist and forearm deep into the blowhole. Take a deep breath, and/or utilize scuba tank and other scuba gear stolen from a Professional Association of Diving Instructors diving lesson. Keep forearm firmly wedged in blowhole. Outlast the whale.
If avenging friend, family, girlfriend, roommate, floor mate or friend with benefits, target the killer from above. While at a comfortable altitude above sea level, first ask your Harbour Air Tours float plane pilot if you may assume controls for the purpose of ridding the waters of dangerous marine life. Should the pilot say no, become assertive. Once the target killer is spotted, enter a nosedive and blow the baleen into oblivion.
NOTE: Aim for the flukes (tail); this will give you a clear mark of where the killer has surfaced and assure maximum damage, i.e. loss of rudder control. It is also hard to overshoot the flukes, though easy to overshoot the dorsal.
3. Musical Mislead
With a $5 harmonica, summon the killer to the surface. (Response is guaranteed.) While on land, continue to lead the killer on with the false promise of a large quantity of tuna. Allow the killer to follow you in the water as you proceed on foot. Find an obstacle, an impossible one. With a grand hand gesture, lead the killer to believe that it can leap in the air and clear said obstacle — ideally Ogden Point. Succeed when the killer fails to do so.
4. Stand By
Should none of the above methods succeed, allow the United States navy to continue to test high-frequency sonar in areas of the Pacific densely populated with marine life, thereby disorienting killer as well as other whales, leading to their inevitable deaths.