Soggy kisses?

ALMOST anywhere in Florida or California, one is able to visit a sea world, sea circus, or sea-something, in which man and beast are throwing arms and fins around each other in pledged affection. In the old days, one just went to an aquarium. There he looked into the sides of a glass tank and only saw stupidly astonished fishes swimming around -- noticeably devoid of talent. They never picked up a Frisbee or hugged anybody, and their only accomplishment was an ability never to blink their eyes.

Then later, some places made improvements and had ``underwater shows'' in which one sat, comfortable and dry, in a theater seat looking through a picture window into the depths of a bubbling spring called something like Kissamahoochie. There he watched a bevy of beautiful girls cavorting in about nine feet of water.

These shows are successful. They would be even more so if the audience could stop holding its breath in sympathy and not go out gasping for air.

But things are changing. The fish and girls have been replaced by intelligent, squeaking dolphins. Giant killer whales have moved in with a great act that soaks the passive spectators with salt water from titantic flip-flops. It is fun on a massive scale. To prove it, the killer whales zoom up and kiss children and elderly ladies on the cheek. In return, ladies and children grab the whale and kiss him on the wet nose. Thus far, a killer whale has not inadvertently yawned at the wrong time.

The trend in finny actors seems to have stopped with whales. An acquaintance of mine, bored with the predictable whale routine, asked when they were going to hire some talented six-ton sharks. The management ignored the suggestion. Apparently killer sharks try harder to live up to their reputation than killer whales, to compensate for their smaller size.

But nothing is impossible. At one time, no one could foresee kissing whales. Probably in the near future someone will put sharks on the program and they will fetch Frisbees and jump through hoops. I'm not sure about the kissing.

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