Monday, March 12, 2012

The Great White Hype

Some of us adults at church are currently preparing to take a group of Boy Scouts scuba diving off the coast of California. Catalina Island. The young men are getting certified over the next couple of weeks, and I’m attending the classes with them in the hopes of brushing up on my skills. See, I was certified in scuba diving back in 1999, but haven’t been diving since then.

“Why haven’t you been scuba diving for the past 12+ years?” you are undoubtedly asking. “Is it cost prohibitive?” Yes. But that’s not why. “Do you not live near some beautiful diving areas?” I sure don’t. But that’s not why, either. “Do you hate cramming your body into a wet suit, only to realize seconds later that you have to tinkle?” Oh, I hate that with a passion. But that’s not why either. I’ll tell you exactly why.


I am vehemently opposed to sharks. Hate them. I loooooathe sharks. I don’t have one good thing to say about them. If I were stood before a shark, handed a baseball bat, and told by a judge that if I beat that shark’s face in then I would be sentenced to death, I would say, “For my final meal, your honor, I want to eat this very shark.” And then I would begin whacking that sucker until it was dead ten times over.

If the above paragraph offends you, you may not want to read any further. You should probably also remove my contact information from your e-database, my family’s name from your Christmas card list, and my birthday reminder (March 17th) from your Facebook Birthday Calendar Reminder thingee. You’ll have no need for these things anymore since you are dead to me, you communist, Nazi, shark-sympathizer.

I suppose my hatred for these evil predators all started when, as a child, I realized my precious, innocent life would one day end in a violent shark attack. Some people want to blame this on several viewings of Jaws before I was nine years old; but I implore you, look at the facts. I was neither afraid of dying by the hands of Lex Luther nor toxic beer, though I watched both Superman and Strange Brew on multiple occasions.

My morbid fascination with these horrid beasts has pushed me to the limits of watching Discovery Channel’s Shark Week from under the covers and between my fingers. I am especially appalled by these video segments that try to paint sharks as the victims of the world. PUH-lease. “A shark’s worst enemy is actually mankind.” Bullsugar! A shark’s worse enemy is…a larger shark! I’m not even a marine biologist, and that answer is obvious to me.

Have you seen the segments where they have these local tour guides in South Africa actually lean out of the boat and pet the stomachs of Great Whites that come up to the boat? Pet their stomachs! What kind of propaganda is THAT?! I mean, to actually encourage people to pet a Great White! “The most misunderstood animal,” indeed. People, wake up! That shark is no dummy. It is mugging for the camera, knowing the thousands of Midwesterners watching will think, “Jeepers, I had them all wrong. Honey, pack a lunch. We’re heading to the coast to pet a Great White.” Stay away from sharks, folks; and for that matter, stay away from South Africans that pet them. I think they may be getting kickbacks or something.

If you want to know how sharks really behave, rent the documentaries Deep Blue Sea (starring Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J – also not fans of South Africa), and Jaws IV: This Time It’s Personal. These are true stories, documenting that sharks have personal vendettas against humans. And they will hunt us down, if we do not act first. That’s why I’m finally going back in the water! That’s why I won’t back down! A Scout is always prepared! We will not surrender to the sharks! We will not let the terrorists win! (And by “terrorists,” I mean “sharks.”)

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