I never miss a TV show about sharks. Whether it's the Discovery Channel's Shark Week or a random PBS special - if there's shark information to be had, I need it. The unfortunate side-effect to this obsession is that the more I learn about sharks, the more I fear them. The only nightmares I ever have are shark-themed... and I have at least one of them a month. I can't swim in a pool without being a little afraid of sharks. I can't sit on a couch without being a little afraid of sharks. They're following me like the Jaws family follows the Brody's... I'm sure of it.
In pretty much every shark show I've seen, some shark expert shares a common message: "We really have no reason to fear sharks. They don't intend to hurt humans. Sometimes they just mistake us for seals." And then a one-armed surfer says, "I was in the shark's home. It was just curious." Just curious! Mistake us for seals? I want shark experts and victims of shark attacks to make up my jury if I'm ever on trial.
Do shark experts really think sharks are less scary because they're maming people on accident? I don't think it's their intent that scares me as much as their ability to bite me in half.
"Help! A shark just bit my leg off!"
"Relax! He's just curious."
"Oh - thank heavens. I was a little nervous for a second there."
You know what, sharks... I don't care what you think I am. If you bite off my leg, I'm holding YOU responsible. I don't bite the limbs off of things that come into my house. Oh, but your eyesight's miserable and you don't have hands? Well then - bite away! Take both legs if there's still some confusion after the first. And thank you, shark experts. You're right - being ripped apart and killed isn't horrifying at all when you know it's just a misunderstanding. Accidental death and dismemberment is cute and fun. Let's all swim with the idiot sharks. No need to fear - they're not mean. They're just not very bright and a little bitey.
Sharks are stupid and scary... I wish there were more shows about them.