Bowing to pressure from local animal activists, several downtown Charleston carriage tour companies have decided to change their source of locomotion from draft horses to killer whales. For the past decade, protesters have complained that having horses, oversized mules, and the like have had to pull fat Ohioans through Charleston’s quaint historic streets, no matter the weather. But now, many of those carriages will be drawn by out-of-work Orcas on loan from Sea World.
“We think is the a win-win, best of both worlds solution,” said Hampton Legare Rutledge XVII, whose family has run a carriage tour ever since his family relocated here from Cleveland in 2007. “No longer will we rely on four-legged equine power, in heat spiking at over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. From here on, we will harness the power of the sea, literally, and hook our carriages up to one of the ocean’s most fearsome alpha-predators.”
Rutledge said that because Orcas are in fact mammals, they don’t need to be submerged in water to breath and thrive. His plan would be to keep them in an empty East Bay warehouse, covered in petroleum jelly to fight off dehydration. “We’ve contracted with a major veterinarian engineering firm to build a proprietary hinged-dolly system similar to the ones used by dogs with paralyzed rear legs,” said Rutledge. “The design came to me one night in a fever dream: put one dolly on each end and a sprung hinge in the middle. Voila. That way the huge Orcas’ naturally swimming motion would be used to propel carriages down tight streets of Charleston, in big lurching pushes at closing-speeds close to 60 miles per hour.”
Rutledge added that because there were no hills in Charleston, and no tours going over any bridges, the Orcas would basically be “living a life of luxury … and minced krill.” Future plans would include cladding the Orcas in a suit of solar panels to collect power for resale to the state’s utilities.