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June 11, 2008

All Kinds of Sharks…..

Tom McLaughlin

These are some direct quotes about the Great White Shark: “Unlike most fish, white sharks are intelligent, highly inquisitive creatures.”… “No one has seen white sharks mate” (that’s understandable)…. “When I am on the boat, they’ll pop their heads out and look me directly in the eye and once when there were several people in the boat, the Great White looked each person in the eye one by one, checking us out.”


“Some shark attacks on humans seem playful. I interviewed two divers who grabbed lightly by the hand and towed a short distance and then released with minimal injury.”…


These quotes come from an article in the prestigious Smithsonian magazine for this month, which arrived in my mailbox the other day. Living by the seaside, I usually take notice of articles about ocean creatures and came to the conclusion the author was completely out of his mind.


The idea that sharks rise out of the water and have some kind of eye contact, and, therefore, implied communication with humans makes me wonder how many drugs these researchers have smoked or ingested when these supposed incidents occurred. Dr. Timothy Leary’s (the LSD advocate of the 60’s and 70’s), hallucinations probably never went that far. And he had some wild ones.


I have seen tourists do stupid things here at the beach. Too much drinking results in behavior beyond stupidity in some cases. However, I doubt even the most naïve visitor would even consider a frolic with sharks.


“The two divers were released with “minimal injury.” What does “minimal injury” mean? Given the circumstances, without an arm or hand, would seem very “minimal” to me.


Of course, there is still the most brain dead tourist, but this guy should have known better. An Australian, of all people, decided to go for a swim in chummed waters (where one throws freshly killed and bleeding fish into the water to attract sharks) off the Bahamas. I guess he thought the sharks would be like frolicking with Flipper or the dolphins at Sea World. Needless to say, he was eaten, and in my opinion, deservedly so.


Speaking of sharks, you will soon be seeing television advertisements urging you to come to Ocean City. The town has spent hundreds of thousands on these “humorous” advertisements that announce the end of the world.


I have not seen them and probably won’t because I live here, (let me know what there like). The commercial, I understand, informs that the end of the world is coming and you should empty your bank account and have one last look at the ocean. And you do need to empty your bank account just come here.


Dr. Lenny Burger, owner of the Clarion Hotel, said in the Maryland Coast Dispatch, he toured Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington and was told the resort is overpriced.




However, he told members of the Resort Economic Development Committee to stress the “value” of coming here.


What value? There is no value. The beach and that’s it.


Do you think he said we should lower the prices?


Are you kidding? His fellow motel owners, for suggesting such blasphemy, would eat Dr Berger alive. When people can go and spend a week in an ocean front hotel in Hawaii cheaper that staying in Ocean City, one would think price cuts would be in order. And that’s from a Worcester County Councilperson.


But like the sharks, local merchants will bleed the vacationers’ wallets dry while looking them straight in the eye. And after that, they will probably take an arm and leg as well.


One must be aware of the sharks in the seas as well as the sharks in Ocean City.


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