A New York press tycoon (whom we will call Mr. X) sent for Michael and Jacob early in the morning. The man had had a dream that night and feared that the dream was premonitory. He had great faith in premonitory dreams. Once he dreamed that it would rain and it rained all day long. On another occasion he dreamed that a man stabbed him in the back and it also rained all day long. So it’s no wonder that Mr. X had faith in premonitory dreams. But the dream of that night was so odd, that Michel and Jacob reassured him about it. Besides, the day had dawned sunny and there was nothing that presaged that it was going to rain. But Mr. X really looked like he was not holding together well, and he asked them not to lose sight of him until he came home at night. It was just a precautionary measure. Just in case he was swallowed by a whale as he had dreamed.
Michael and Jacob scrupulously fulfilled their mission and throughout that day they accompanied Mr. X everywhere and had their eyes wide open so that no whales escaped their control. Mr. X stayed late working at his office, and when the three men returned to the Park Avenue mansion, it was late at night. The butler informed Mr. X that his wife was waiting for him in bed, “laying eggs” (sic). Michael and Jacob were ready to call it a day, but Mr. X reminded them that the day was not over yet. Until he was in his bedroom and had locked the door, he would not feel safe. Anyway, that was not going to take long since he had no intention of dining and was eager to meet his beloved wife.
With one thing and another (Mr. X had the hygienic habit, before going to bed, of brushing every inch of his body with a toothbrush), they delayed three hours more. Then, Mr. X paid their fee and was going to enter the bedroom when suddenly Michael had a bad feeling: “Wait!”, he shouted.
Mr. X jumped and stopped in his tracks with one hand on the doorknob.
“It’s in there where you dreamed about the whale, right?”
“Then, if you allow me, I’d like to take a look.”
“Go ahead, but don’t startle my wife”
“Don’t worry. I’ll just take a look through the half-open door.”
Slowly so as not to make noise, Michael turned the doorknob and opened just enough to look stealthily inside. What he saw froze the blood in his veins. A whale the size of the room was in there stuffed like a canned sardine. Immediately he slammed the door, shaking the foundations of the house as well as those of Mr. X and Jacob. “What the hell is going on?!”, Mr. X blurted out.
The face of Michael had turned white because of the stupor: “Don’t enter there! You were right: the dream was premonitory! There is a huge whale inside! We’ll need a harpoon!”
At that moment, they jumped out of fright when the door suddenly opened. “Caroline!” exclaimed Mr. X when he saw his beloved wife standing in the doorway with a face of disgust, curls in her hair and a robe that covered a body that was certainly bulky. “Couldn’t you make a little more noise?” she blurted out sarcastically, and slammed the door right in their faces. Red with anger, Mr. X turned to Michael: “So a whale, right?”. “I assure you that there was a whale inside!”, Michael insisted.
“Do you insist on insulting my wife, miserable?! (and he began to shout for the butler) Felix! Throw this pair of bums out of my house!”
Soon after, Michael and Jacob were arguing while walking down Park Avenue:
“Man, the woman is fat indeed, but to call her a whale… You might try being a bit more tactful in future.”
“I saw what I saw! And I assure you that what I saw was a whale! A real whale!”
The next day, the cover of Mr. X’s newspaper was totally occupied by the tragic news of his death as a result of having been swallowed by a whale in his own bedroom. A controversial columnist suggested an explanation drawn from an Irish folk tale that spoke of a fisherman who caught in his nets a mermaid who agreed to become human to marry him but with the condition that no one in her presence ever mentioned the word “mermaid”. If that happened, she would go back to her original nature.