Sunday, June 1, 2008

Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh Dum....

Since it is summer, I am reminded of one of my favorite past-times.....Shark Week!

It's difficult to explain but I feel like I can't miss a day of Shark Week on The Discovery Channel every summer. It's not as if the shows are different, they're actually usually the same thing over and over again: "Shark Attacks: Up Close & Personal", "Diving with the Great White", or "Sharks: Predator or Prey?". None of those are actual names of shows, that I know of, but I wouldn't be surprised if all three made the cut.


The thing that makes it hard to explain is that I am absolutely terrified of sharks. Not terrified like "man, sharks sure are scary" but terrified like "are you sure this swimming pool doesn't have a direct link to the ocean?". I can remember when I was a little kid and we would go to the community swimming pool and there was this huge drain at the bottom, just like every pool in the world. Somehow I became convinced that underneath that drain there was a huge shark that the lifeguards let out whenever they wanted (but not the blonde-haired lifeguard I had a crush on.....as a 5-year old). I would jump off the high dive, which was impressive enough for a little kid, then swim as fast as possible to the side ladder. Sometimes, if I timed it just right, I wouldn't even touch the water. I would go so fast that I would literally fly to the side, like that crazy running lizard (I think it's pretty obvious at this point but you should know, I had a pretty big imagination as a child).

Things have improved considerably as I've matured. I can now swim in a pool without a harpoon gun. There is still a problem though involving large bodies of water; lakes, oceans, suspicious-looking puddles. You see, when I can't beneath me it lets my imagination run wild. I've tried to Wakeboard probably 3 or 4 times, never being able to get up. At times it is pretty frustrating but all I can think while I am holding the rope with my feet in the boots is: "how many natural predators live in this lake?", "what just brushed my foot?", "could i strangle a shark with this rope?".

It's an irrational fear of sharks. I know there aren't any sharks in lakes (allegedly...) but there will be just one time, in some freak occurrence, when a salt-water shark eats someone in a fresh-water lake. And you know what, that someone could be me!

I think that's where Shark Week comes in. I try to combat my irrational fear with education. If I know everything there is to know about sharks then when I'm confronted with a crisis situation I'll be able to slip right into survival mode. And if I'm educated enough, then maybe, just maybe, I'll pull a Crocodile Hunter* on the shark and have an awesome pet.

And to think, all this could have been avoided if I hadn't watched Jaws 2 as a child....



*It should be noted that when referring to himself trying to "pull a Crocodile Hunter" the author does not mean the time the Crocodile Hunter was killed by a sting ray but the infinite number of times before that he conquered the untameable beasts of the wild.

9 comments:

katy said...

i could barely make it through that without all the scary music!

i used to be deathly afraid of stumps. you know...like logs in the water. just thought i'd share, since you were sharing.

Benton said...

Its creepy how similar we are. I swear I could see a shark looking at me through that drain. I have done research and the best way to fend off a shark is to poke him in the eyes and gills. And scream like a 5 yr old girl. Which is what i plan to do.

elizabeth said...

Then I suggest you don't go see this. Even for research sake.

And I agree...the deep end of the pool was creepy. What with it being 25 ft. deep and all.

elizabeth said...

So the link to "this" didn't show up. Here it is...

http://www.sharks3d.com/

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, the memories that song evokes!!!
I think it's hereditary. I love being near water, the sound of water, even IN water as long as I can see the bounderies. It's a paradox of serenity and terror otherwise.
The mention of the stump/log by Katy also brought back that buried memory of a sunbaked 150 mile horseback ride, a cool dip in the pond and LEECHES!! Thanks for all this you guys!!! Kathy

Anonymous said...

I really looked forward to this...and to think you wrote about sharks....will read others just in case, love mama

Daniel said...

This is even more of a reason why you should go on a cage dive with the great white with me!

amanda flo said...

While I like Elizabeth's suggestion, I think you should probably stick to this one:

http://www.dolphinsandwhales3d.com/

kpeterson said...

Completely terrified of pool drains myself...Now you know how my family lives for the lake...well last summer I was at my parents on Lake LBJ with Emma and we were out floating in front of their house with my dad. You can stand for several feet right by the dock. Dad was standing, holding on to Emma's little float thing and all the sudden he is going "AAHH, AAAHHH,(much like a little girl) something's touching me!!" There are these little carp that just swim up and hit your legs when you're just standing there!! So if you go visit my parents don't stand up in the water!!! I'm afraid it would tramatize you for life.