A Dam Shame: Linguistic Relativism and Necrophilic Bestiality

By Charles Norwood (with additional files from Stephen Kunk)►

Crystal meth is a hardcore drug. And if Whitney Nycole of Washington state didn't know that, she sure as shit does now. Why? Because poor Ms. Nycole had the dubious privilege of watching a meth-head have sex with a dying beaver. And that's about as hardcore as things get right there.

Nycole first found the beaver after it had been hit by a car and left for dead. At that point, the animal was still alive, though badly injured. She hurried home to get a box so she could transport the beaver to a veterinary clinic. But when she came back, things had taken a turn for the worse.

At first she thought that Richard Delp, 35, was merely comforting the dying animal. But, as she neared, she discovered that Mr. Delp had things other than palliative care on his mind. His pants were down, and he was having intercourse with the beaver. Nycole, horrified, called the police, who arrested Delp on charges of animal cruelty and possession of methamphetamine. Tragically, however, the beaver couldn't be saved. It had perished while Delp was fucking it.

But why? Why would a man have sex with a beaver? Aside from the fact that meth is one hell of a drug, there may be something else going on here as well.

There is a hypothesis in linguistics that the languages we speak influence and shape our thoughts and even our perceptions. Known as Whorfianism, the hypothesis asserts that the structure and content of the languages we speak are reflected in the realities that we experience. Rather than merely conveying objective reality to us, our brains construct a subjectivized version of reality, and both language and culture play an unconscious role in determining how we experience the world.

And so, according to Whorfianism, Richard Delp may actually have believed he was making love to a woman rather than a dead animal. "Beaver"—the word refers to a large semi-aquatic rodent with a flat tail and a penchant for building dams. But it also refers to the genitalia of a female human being. What if Delp, due to a semantic error (not to mention a sort of synesthesia of the concrete and figurative) deep in his meth-addled brain, saw a beautiful woman with willingly parted legs lying there on the side of the road that night? What if Delp merely got "whorfed" into committing the indecent act rather than actively choosing to do something horrendous?

Nobody wins in this story. It starts with an innocent beaver being hit by a car, and it ends with necrophiliac bestiality. It's a goddamn nightmare for everybody involved (even for Richard Delp, who was presumably interrupted before he could climax). Really, the only silver lining here is that things weren't as bad as they could have been. Indeed, the only winners here are the women Delp might have assaulted that night had he not laid eyes on that mangled Castor canadensis when he had.

Also, one has to wonder if this incident indexes rising anti-Canadian sentiment in the United States of America. In addition to signifying the vagina, the beaver is also a symbol of Canada as a nation. Given the increased trade tension between Canada and the United States at present, Delp’s erotic aggressions could speak to more than just the potency of meth. The brutality done to the beaver may suggest that the American collective unconscious, when fully awakened, seeks all-out assaults against its meek northern neighbor and the figurative vaginas that so adequately emblematize them. 

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Charles Norwood lives in Toronto where he is involved in a diverse array of criminal activities. He is the author of Epistemology Bloody Epistemology