For those of you who don’t know I’m currently in Shanghai, China. I got an internship working for a little company called Barstool Sports. Ever heard of em? I report directly to The Wonton Don, Barstool’s foreign correspondent. He’s known for his segments “Whoa That’s Weird” where he brings to light the stranger side of Asian culture. From eating penis fish to blacking out at taco bell Donnie’s Does it all.
He’s the inventor of the suisey, a suit/jersey combo for all those who want to support their favorite team while still remaining dressed for the occasion. It’s perfect for a Weddings or Bar Mitzvahs. It might not be quite ready for Quinceaneras yet. The Spanish prefer a worn poncho with a stiff pair of leather chaps, plus most are soccer fans, and like all fans of that sport they prefer to watch the game naked with a thumb up their ass.
Personally, I think the best thing my boss has done is coin the phrase “It’s better to be off the beaten path than to be on the path beating off.” I couldn’t agree more. That quote has helped me stay moving throughout my travels.
It may look like my boss’s day job is just to cranks hoons and rips trodas, but I have a feeling there’s a lot more to it than that. I am very excited to be working for him, he’s a big J jerno and I’m a small i intern. I have a lot to learn.
I know I’ve been slacking on the blogs. For the thirty or so people who actually read them fear not, the kid is back. There’s quite a gap between this blog and my last post. Forty-eight days to be exact. A lot has happened in those 48 days. Tons and tons of content, like cutting the heads off chickens in a remote Himalayan village content. I was going to pick up where I left off last and do a chronological recap, but the shit that happened last night is too good to wait on. I’ll share this quick story and from there I’ll write a few more posts detailing the events from the past month or so. Let’s roll.
Donnie is in Thailand for a few days, so I’ve been on my own editing some of his videos and getting to know my new neighborhood until he returns. He put me in touch with a few of his friends and they invited me to a networking party last night. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but they told me there was going to be free booze and food. It doesn’t take much to get me excited, put the word “free” infront of anything and I’ll be there. But put it in front of boozeor food and I’ll be sprinting my ass over.
I arrived at the event and immediately felt out of place. The people there were all young professionals in the tech industry. A lot of wanna be millennial billionaire types. Sports coats, sneakers, and raw denim jeans, that kind of thing. I, on the other hand, waltzed in wearing my hiking boots and a lightweight Seaworld aquarium jacket. (Look, when you’re backpacking around the world you don’t have the luxury of having a diverse wardrobe. You’re going for function, not fashion.) I immediately felt underdressed, but little did I know that Shanghai had just opened an aquarium not far from where we were. A western guy walked up to me and asked
“Hey man, do you work at the aquarium or something?”
Go with it dude, you’ve seen Blackfish. Pull some orca facts outta your ass and you’re golden.
“Uhh– yes. Yes, I do. In fact, I’m one of the dolphin trainers they brought in from Seaworld in California.” I pointed to the logo on my jacket as if it would help reinforce my bullshit.
“I’m Donny nice to meet you.”
“Alex, likewise man.”
We chatted for a few minutes, he turned out to be a pretty legit dude. I ended up telling him who I really was and what I was actually doing here. He told me the dolphin trainer story was much more interesting, and I should stick with it. I agreed. As the night progressed I became “Donny the dolphin trainer.” It has a pretty nice ring to it, don’t ya think?
After a few more IPAs I was on top my marine biology game.
“Yeah you know–– the documentary Blackfish really killed us in California. Things started to get a bit hairy with all the protests, so we packed up and moved the show out here.”
“No, whales actually prefer to be kept in captivity, they are less likely to be attacked by sharks or catch a virus. Being locked in an outrageously small tank is great for their sensitive immune systems.”
“Did you know that dolphins can actually turn into whales if they eat enough fish?”
“We’ve got a few Orcas, the most famous being Tilikum, and a pod of pink fin dolphins coming in from Thailand.” (If anyone had seen Blackfish they’d know Tilikum is dead as fuck. Thank god they don’t have Netflix in this country. Shoutout to my Boy Xi Jinping! Keep censoring the internet, my man.)
“Dolphins and whales shit out of their blowholes… that's what you see spewing out when they surface.”
“Before I was a dolphin trainer I worked on a Japanese whaling boat. So I’ve seen all sides of the business. Form killing whales to training dolphins I know it all!”
“ Dolphins are like turtles on speed. If you gave a turtle some Adderall it would physically morph into a dolphin. Trust me on that, I’m a scientist.”
“Oh yeah, business is great here. The best part is once a whale or dolphin dies we just give it to the government and the whole city eats.”
Those were my go-to lines for the night. I wouldn’t try them on westerners though. They probably would have seen through my bullshit. I stuck to Asians for it’s much easier to convince someone you swim with dolphins for a living when they speak little to no English. The typical response to any statement I made was
“Dolphin? Wooow so speeecial!”
“Ahh, I wike fishhh!”
As the night was winding down I ran back into Alex, we were having a beer on the terrace when two young Asian guys came up to us and asked
“Yo, either of you got a light?”
“Sorry sir, I do not.” Replied Alex respectfully.
“Sir? Did you just call me sir? DON’T fucking call me sir! I’m a twenty-two-year-old kid!”
“Relax dude, I call every adult male in a business situation sir.”
“I’ve been here for ten years. I know about every industry in China. Steal, auto, textile. You name it I fucking know it!” Ranted this twenty-two-year-old Asian kid.
“Oh really? Every industry? How about the aquarium industry.”
“Aquiru — ”
Alex didn’t give the kid any time to finish his thought as he continued on with my intro.
“You see this is my friend Donny, he just got flown out here to run the dolphin program at the new aquarium — ”
I jumped right in.
“That’s right boys, I just got to town. As my friend mentioned I’m one of the new trainers. We’re getting the tanks all set up for the big show. Are you two interested in swimming with some dolphins?”
I decided because this kid was so confident that he knew every industry in China, and because he freaked the fuck out when Alex called him sir that he deserved to be taught a little lesson.
“That would be amazing! Like you could take us inside the park?” They asked with wide eyes.
“Inside the park? Hell, I can take you into the Goddamn tank if you’d like! I’ll tell you what, if you guys come to the front gate at say, 5:30 AM on Monday, I’ll give you a private tour, and let you swim with the dolphins before we open the park to the public.”
“No way?! That would be so sick man! Do we need to bring anything?”
“Wear a swimsuit and bring a towel. Be there at 5:30 AM sharp, front gate. Ask the security guard for Donny the American trainer. He’ll call me, and I’ll come down.”
“Can I bring my sister?”
“Sure thing man, bring the whole fucking family! Just don’t be late.”
I watched as they both set reminders on their phones to be at the aquarium at 5:30 AM on Monday morning. They even wrote “Donny Dolphin Trainer” down as the event title.
Alex and I walked away and burst into laughter. I hope to God those two get up dumb early on Monday morning dressed in swimsuits only to realize that they got duped by “Donny the Dolphin Trainer.”
I don’t think I’m ready to drop this bit yet. Nah, I like being a dolphin trainer, I might even make a fake badge for the aquarium and go for a swim with the orcas myself.
I’ll be in Shanghai working with Donnie for the next month. Go check his shit out on Instagram/twitter @TheWantonDon and on https://www.barstoolsports.com/videos/donnie-does
Peace Peace Peace
SHANGHAI, April 14th, 2018