It will come as a surprise to nobody who knows me well that I have what some may call an “irrational phobia” of sharks. Unfortunately over the years, many of you have used this weakness and turned it against me. Some of you have forced me to go into the Great White Shark exhibit at Sea World and laughed as the sharks banged against the glass, clearly intent on making me their prey. Some of you have wrongly informed me that there are no sharks in the Bahamas in order to convince me to ride the banana boat (which, for the record, was way more horrifying than fun). Some of you have rigged a plastic shark to the front door of my apartment to make it swing at my face every time I opened the door.
In short, some of you are monsters.
(feel the wrath of Liz Lemon’s disapproving glare)
What’s stranger to me, however, are the people who seem to take it upon themselves to explain to me why I shouldn’t be afraid of sharks. Apparently, you’re more likely to be attacked by a pig than a shark, or trampled by a cow, or struck by lightning. And somehow knowing this is supposed to make me feel better about my odds of getting attacked by a shark, but it doesn’t. It really doesn’t. All it does is make me paranoid about pigs. (Which was already kind of a problem due to Animal Farm, thank you very much)
I guess I don’t really understand why so many of you feel the need to naysay my phobia. We’re talking sharks, here. SHARKS. Prehistoric monsters of the sea. Of course I live my life in fear. Maybe you should really be asking yourself why you don’t.
So let me take the opportunity to now explain to you why YOU should be afraid.
For starters…and I cannot stress this enough…they’re sharks. They look like this, with their sharp, sharp teeth and soulless demon eyes.
They are brainless, mindless, eating machines.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t mean to eat you, or if they only bite you because they’ve mistaken you for something else. They will still be eating you, and you will still die.
Your odds of fighting off one of these:
Are way lower than fighting off one of these:
Because, yes, maybe Babe is more likely to bite you, but Jaws is more likely to chomp you in half.
And for the record, JAWS is based on a true story. About a shark that killed people up and down the Atlantic shoreline before swimming into a freshwater river and killing a bunch more people—because here’s another horrifying fact: sharks can survive in fresh water, too. The moral of the story being? Nowhere is safe. Nowhere!
Did you also know that sharks can swim in as little as three feet of water? And I’m not talking about just the little baby critters. We’re talking the mamas and the papas, with their adult-sized appetites, deciding that you look like the perfect h’orderve.
Great white sharks can also jump up to 15 feet in the air, which means if you’re on a boat or a dock and it decides it wants you, it will have you. NOWHERE IS SAFE.
You may have been told you can fight a shark off by punching it in the nose, but that’s incorrect. A shark’s nose is pure cartilage. Which means if you punch it, you will break your hand. And then it will eat you.
If you’re being attacked by a shark, you’re actually supposed to punch its gills or its eyes, but good luck being coherent enough to remember to do that while this is happening:
Some breeds of shark eat all of their siblings in the womb so they will be the only ones to survive. They are literally trained to kill from birth. If they don’t spare their own brothers and sisters, what makes you think they won’t come after you next?
Sharks outlasted the dinosaurs. They survived a meteor that destroyed the biggest, baddest living creatures on the planet. They are tougher than T-Rex. So what chance do you think you stand, huh?
Sharks can manipulate tornados and ride them like a subway train. This is a fact proven by science. NOWHERE IS SAFE!
So really, is it so weird that I won’t get in the ocean past my knees? Well, we’ll see who’s laughing when I’m standing safely on the shore, watching while this happens:
And is it wrong for me to believe that great white sharks secretly occupy the deep end of the swimming pool? I’ve never seen conclusive evidence otherwise, so agree to disagree.
And finally, is it really that weird that I can’t sleep with any part of my body hanging over the bed for fear that this will somehow trigger my mattress to transport to the middle of the ocean where I will wake up surrounded by the demons of the sea?
…Okay, that one might be a little bit over the top. But the rest of my points still stand. Sharks are evil! And they’re just biding their time until they can make us their after-school snack.
So in conclusion, yes, maybe I’m afraid. But you should be, too. And there’s no way you’re ever going to talk me out of it.
Join me on the safety of the seashore, my friends. It’s warm here, and the sunbathing is excellent.