Grab your snorkel and head for the couch, Discovery Channel’s Annual Shark Week (aka Nightmare Week in my house) began last night with a new special called “Ultimate Air Jaws” (promo below).
I know I’m not telling you anything new here, but sharks are just about the scariest fucking things on the planet. Shark Week’s usual focus is the message that sharks aren’t mindless killing machines, but thinking creatures who don’t normally attack humans intentionally out of sheer aggression or for food…and I have to say that isn’t very comforting. I saw Jaws when I was 4, so no matter how many Shark Weeks I have under my belt, I still go to bed with nightmares about being in the middle of the ocean with what is essentially a 20-foot bowie knife swimming around chopping people’s legs off by accident.
Last year there was a story about a diver and his first up-close encounter with one and it was swimming right beside him. He was obviously terrified but tried to remain calm and not spook the shark. Eventually it turned and swam away, at which point the diver let out a sigh of relief, then shat his pants and came to the realization that the only thing scarier than a shark grazing your chest with his pectoral fin as he swims parallel to you is the moment when you don’t know when or from what direction he will return to finish you off.
Don’t get me wrong though, they’re beautiful and fascinating creatures and it would be amazing to get into a cage and watch them go about their business. Except there was that one scene in Jaws where the shark crushes the cage so NO THANKS.