In honor of Shark Week on the Discovery channel, I would like to tell you all about my greatest fear - Sharks. It's a known fact that sharks are the scariest thing on this planet. They are monsters in the literal form. I honestly feel that when God decided to take monsters from the earth, he thought "Well, let's get rid of the dinosaurs, dragons, yetis,.....hmmm, I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting. Ah well." Meanwhile the great white shark hid below the dark blue; laughing.
Don't get me wrong, I love the ocean. If I ever learned how to swim I might actually go out past my waist. But I know that when I die, it will be by shark attack. It's said that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning three times than be attacked by a shark. (made up statistic) Well, I have been hit by lightning twice already, so I'm not really liking my odds on the whole getting eaten alive thing. Ever since I was a kid I have feared what was waiting for me in the water. I'm not even talking about the ocean. Even in large pools I got nervous that I would be dragged under by the serrated teeth, and I would look down into the red water and see the empty dolls eyes of the beast pulling me under. The fear still follows me even in freshwater lakes. Yes, I know that great whites could not survive in fresh water, but as I fall off the dinghy and am treading water I watch for the fin rising out of the water headed in my grave direction. So, I guess you could say I'm a little paranoid.
Shark movies such as Jaws and Open Water have not helped me overcome this fear at all. Like many of you, I blame Jaws for giving birth to my fear. Maybe it's due to the fact that I watched Jaws 3 (you remember, the one at Sea World) every Saturday afternoon, though that movie is more of a comedy than the others. The worst is the time that I scuba dived in Cancun, I don't know why I agreed to do it. There is nothing comforting about being 50 feet under and knowing that the only thing keeping you alive is a breathing pattern, and plugging your nose every three feet. Add to that, you are completely surrounded by the blue unknown. Don't worry, I couldn't enjoy looking down at the coral sea life. If I wasn't getting kicked in the head by someone struggling to swim in their flippers, I was always surveying the area around me, looking for a silver point slowly coming towards me in the distance, greedily smiling, thinking to itself "Ah Major, I've been waiting for you!" Meanwhile I would have been slowly swimming to the surface as to avoid getting the bends. Fortunately I did not have such an encounter but my air tank only lasted me twenty minutes when it would last a normal non-panicking person, who wasn't breathing like darth vader, an hour. For those of you who are afraid of spiders and snakes and mock my paranoia of something that will most likely never happen, I say this, Seventy percent of the earth is water. The sharks are hungry. And if Al Bore is right about this global warming myth, then the polar ice caps are melting and you better learn how to swim...fast!