Pier 39 Sea Lions: hungry but not broken

I always wanted to know why The Three Tenors were so obsessed with this place that they used to come here almost every week, and at some point even every day. By ‘this place’ (an obvious detail for those following the mondaine world of the international grand opera) I mean Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

In order to avoid the groupies The Three Tenors usually arrived at night disguised as Russian babushkas (very old ladies). They would leave Pier 39 at dawn, drenched in tears. What made this place so attractive to these great artists? What was the reason for their tears?

Pier 39 Sea Lions

It all became obvious when I finally got to Pier 39: the sea lions, and more specifically, their divine singing. As we know by now, the Greek Mythical Sirens were based on the actual sea lions with their overwhelmingly, enchanting singing voices. A great many ancient sailors lost their lives as they were lured by the singing sea lions straight onto rocks.

So, were The Three Tenors also lured to Pier 39 by the sea lions singing?

Pier 39 Sea Lions

To clarify the issue, I approached one of the sea lions.

‘They were not lured,’ was the answer. ‘They came here supposedly to study our divine art of singing. But in fact those vultures were shamelessly stealing our techniques, our methods, our craft. After they thought they’d stolen enough, the poor bastards vanished. They never even bothered feeding us, or giving us fish. But the truth is, while they did steal enough to get fame and money, they couldn’t steal the real soul of our art, a beauty as elusive and almost equally unbearable. Beauty is all too often unbearable… By the way, got some fish for me, mister?’

Pier 39 Sea Lions

So now the world knows this inconvenient truth: the so called ‘art’ of The Three Tenors is nothing more than a miserable imitation of the Pier 39 sea lion’s singing. And what is even more disgusting, the three stealing bastards didn’t even bother feeding the animals to compensate for the skills they were trying to steal!

Pier 39 Sea Lions

But this sad and shocking story didn’t break the spirit of the Pier 39 sea lions. They still sing, mainly country songs about the things they love most: fish and copulation.

Divine and almost unbearably beautiful…

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