Shark Depopulates New England Coast

“I was bobbing all alone in the middle of the ocean when all of a sudden a seventy foot shark appeared…”  Of course there was a shark there, you intellect-lacking individual.  Let’s deconstruct this statement.  You were out “in the middle of the ocean”—where sharks live—”all alone.”  Probably chucking leftover crumbs of spam from your lunch overboard, too.

I hate shark week.  Maybe that makes me a communist or something, or maybe it’s because I live a few miles from the ocean so it seems pretty obvious to me—sharks…live…in…the…ocean.

It seems logical that if presented with legs and feet dangling (i.e., swimmers, surfers…) sharks might take a taste–no different than a hungry shopper sneaking twenty-dollar olives at the Whole Foods salad bar.  Even better, when lured by tourists throwing dead fish around a cage in order to get in that cage and gawk at sharks, the sharks will accommodate that request. I could look up the schedule for Shark Week online—it’s the 25th Anniversary, you know, but I’ll save myself the trouble by predicting the week will go like this:

There will be a bunch of specials about sharks, which—in case you missed the commercials—are large water-dwelling carnivores that occasionally eat people who are invading their home. It’s their equivalent of calling the police when burglars come. Sort of wild-West Indies justice.

  • There will be a bunch of shocumentaries about people being eaten by sharks after they were swimming in—you guessed it—the shark’s home.  Someone will say, “It came out of nowhere,” and a bunch of people will be filmed in the background trying to hunt down the shark in a sea kayak with Captain Ahab’s harpoon so that the shark can never cause humanity that kind of pain again.  Evidently, Captain Ahab will be able to recognize the offending Great White whale shark and dispatch it successfully.  Meanwhile, down below, a news-fish will interview the shark on the lam, who will say that the swimmer entered his living room and he ate the guy in self defense, “Just protecting the family.”
  • There will be at least one documentary about people swimming with the sharks while in cages and chucking them food to see them up close.  By the end of the show, one cage will have broken, causing a near-death experience followed by an interview with someone astonished that Lucifer’s shark mistook them for sushi-grade tuna.

Okay, I confess. I did peek at the website trailers.  My favorite is the of the host in the middle of a blow up raft trying to escape a circle of sharks.  Because I would be in the middle of shark territory in a blow up raft.  Keep the weight down–faster escape.

Maybe this is payback for the time when I was seven and I caught a baby sand shark deep-water fishing on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard.  My first and last time fishing.  I hooked that poor creature’s face and let him go.  He now carries the scar of that traumatic day as he hunts for victims swimming off the coast of the Cape—hoping someday, one of them will be me.

In a week or so, Shark Week will be over and the Discovery Channel can go back to showing shows about other riveting topics, like when animals eat the people at zoos.  You know, the people who climb a 30-foot fence to get a video of themselves kissing a lion for YouTube, then sue for twenty million when the lion wakes up and bites their face off.  And the subsequent ten interviews with “surprised” tourists who “never saw it coming.”   But that’s a story for another day.

Meanwhile, let’s leave the sharks alone, and start the journey toward letting cable TV shocumentaries die a slow, painful death.  I think they’re rotting my brain.

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