Flipper Saves Dick Van Dyke

I’m so sorry for wasting your time with this.

Just taking this news story from The Guardian at face value you’re left with the impression that Dick Van Dyke - at age 84! - is out there surfing. Applying some deductive reasoning to this situation I’ve come to the conclusion that the story which The Guardian is running as breathless news is, in fact, at least four decades old. Here’s the text:

Van Dyke’s ordeal began during an ill-fated trip to his local beach. “I woke up out of sight of land,” the 84-year-old actor told reporters. “I started paddling with the swells and I started seeing fins swimming around me and I thought ‘I’m dead!’”

Van Dyke was wrong. “They turned out to be porpoises,” he said. “And they pushed me all the way to shore.” The porpoises were unavailable for comment.

Funny sidenote at the end, there, reporter Xan Brooks. But was Van Dyke available for comment? Like a comment on when this happened?

Without that knowledge we’re just left with the wonderful image of an 84 year old man out at sea, surrounded by kindly porpoises. I like to pretend that Dick paddled out there in the SoCal version of the way Eskimo elders set themselves adrift on ice floes; knowing it was his time to unburden the social structure, Dick mounted his surfboard and headed for oblivion. But these porpoises don’t believe in euthanasia and they saved the aged Bert the Chimney Sweep.