Hey folks. Now, before you roll your eyes and say, “Oh, Jesus, not again, goddamit,” let me tell you some more strange shit ’bout one of the strangest, scariest menaces ever to inhabit this planet. I should have added “most mysterious” too. Starts with their name, which is about as murky as their history. Possibly one of the oldest animals existing, maybe 350 million years, yet only seem to be discovered by Europeans about 500 years ago. One of Queen Lizzie’s conqueror thieving mothers brought one to the old country (England) in the savage North American days. The name shark perhaps got filtered down from some Mayan dialect. But one thing sure — we all know what it means now, don’t we? Pool shark, loan shark, whatever your pleasure, it does fit, with good reason.
You ever hear of a pocket shark? Imagine being that character. Got little pockets all over. Yeah. He uses his for brunch, but we could hit a jewelry store. And if he can’t pack enough shit away, why, just call his country cousin, the megamouth. That son of a gun can pile it in. He ain’t the biggest, though. That honor goes to the fittingly named whale shark. He wolfs down the old plankton like that’s going out of style. There’s sharks that can detect the plankton chow line from 1,000 miles away! That’s one very good talent when you got the munchies, eh?
Hey, leftovers? Let’s call his brother-in-arms, the basking shark. Can you figure out his M.O.? I’ll tell ya. He likes to bask in the sun. Lazy bum. Hangs out and sucks up stuff so small we can’t even see the damn things. I don’t recommend it for a diet, though. He’ll run 30 ton.
Those are some of our gentle giants, but there are many more. Most are so much scarier. Like, say, the thresher shark. Guess what? Cut you up like a thresher. You know, all of the sharks’ weapons aren’t offensive. Boy, they got a beaut: the swell shark. Imagine this guy. He really don’t wanna be disturbed while having some poor flounder for dinner, so he simply metamorphizes different colors — Christ, sometimes fluorescent! Talk about getting dressed for dinner.
Now we’ll get into the spooky side of things. Why, goodness sakes alive, they got a shark down the Mississippi Delta got them hillbillies headin’ for the hills! Known as a “rookin’ shark,” they really seem to be a spine-tingler — word was the fuckers have had a few folks for breakfast. Turns out it’s a case of them Southern boys makin’ a big ol’ mucky-muck out of what’s known as a blue shark, turning it into a Monster of the Blue Lagoon. But there is much truth to the fact the bull shark should be feared. Boy, of all the tricks Mr. Dentyne got, the bull shark’s number one. This son of a bitch, because of a specially adapted kidney system, can do quite well in either salt or fresh water, thank you. He’s been spotted in Illinois, for Chrissakes, and has definitely been known to attack and kill humans.
Now whoa — stop the presses! Another whale washes up on the beach in York County, one with bite marks from a great white. The one shark that captivates everyone, and the one that scares the fuckin’ be-Jesus out of everyone. So right now we’ve got a 14-to-16-footer right in our waters, cruising around looking for dessert as we speak!
Boy, oh, boy, there’s another relative in the shark fam you aren’t getting away without hearing about, by Jingo: the Greenland shark. He’s a real fuckin’ doozey. His menu is about whatever Greenland has to offer. Autopsy results reveal parts of horses, assorted debris and even a set of antlers. And to boot, they produce poisonous blood, so the rest of the family won’t have him for din-din.
But let’s not forget the good parts of sharks’ existence. They’re edible. Some are delicious. Dog sharks are sold in Britain for fish ’n’ chips. Their tummies go to Germany to be smoked as Schillerlocken. Tails and fins are soup makin’s in Asia. And then there’s the shark skins we’re all hip on — who wouldn’t appreciate some “skin boots”? They even turn out some perfume in Brazil.
And who knows what’s down the road? My gut feeling says sharks have a lot to offer the medical field. I really see a day when the bad shark ends up saving lives instead of taking them.
Sharks are one-of-a-kind. While posing difficulties, they possess a lot of stuff to think about. And for all the wild imaginations of some hysterical people, you have much more chance of being killed by a bumblebee.
That said, keep your eyes on your back at the beach this summer. Bum ba, bum ba. Bum ba, bum ba. (Jaws.)