Thursday, June 21, 2007

Surviving a Shark Attack; or What I Learned from Jaws

It seems to me, and this is based less on real experience and more on my living vicariously through movies, that if you're attacked by a giant fucking shark, someone is going to kill it. Hell, that someone may even be you!

In a shark attack, there are really only a few roles that you could have. Think about Jaws. You have Quint playing the role of Shark Food. You have Hooper in the role of Bystander/Survivor. And you have Brody in the role or Reluctant but Eventual Hero.

Now, like I said, these are the basic roles you can fill. Now, when you're attacked by a shark, you probably don't want to be Shark Food. However, it is the easiest role to fill, since the only requirement is that you be made of meat. Needless to say, you're probably overqualified.

Now, there's always a chance that you didn't bring anything to the scene. Maybe a dramatic underwater attack, but you're ancillary to this part of the story. Since it's not really your story, you probably won't get to be the Hero. Sorry. That's the way it goes. However, there's a chance you won't end up as Shark Food either. The key here is to be friends with (or even better, related to) the Hero. He's not going to die, and either are the people he cares about, goddammit! Be invisible, but indispensable. Draw too much attention and you'll end up in the shark's hungry mouth unless the Hero cares about you. A lot.

Some ways to get the Hero to give a shit about you:
  • Bring him a bottle of wine.
  • Don't sleep with his wife.
  • Be his kid.
  • Be his other kid.
  • It's probably a good idea, also, to try not to be better looking than him.
Things to avoid:
  • Sleeping with his wife.
  • Making fun of his entirely justified fear of Sharks.
  • Firing him.
  • Insulting his children.
  • Stealing his children.
  • Eating his children for dinner.
  • You know, just leave his kids alone. What's wrong with you? Jerk.

Of course, the alternative is to BE the Hero. The Hero doesn't die. In fact, most often, the Hero survives in the most implausible way. If you're the Hero, you could be eaten by the shark and RIP your way out of it's stomach! It's that good to be the Hero. I know, you're thinking "I'm a loser. I've never done anything in my life, how could I possibly not only fend off a shark, but save people in the process?" And, you're right. You are a loser. But, that's ok. See, more often than not, it's the Reluctant Hero who does the job. You know, the guy who really would rather stay out of it. The guy who would rather just stay on land. Eventually though, something is going to happen, and suddenly, you'll find yourself out on that boat, praying you don't become shark food.

Look around you. What kind of people do you see? Is someone over confident in his abilities to get rid of the shark? Is someone smarter than the rest of the crew, and knows it? Are you the main character in this story? If you answered yes to all of these questions, well, hate to say it, but it might just be up to you to defeat the shark. You'd better start preparing for it.

Naturally, by preparing, I mean coming up with something witty to say when you defeat this shark. "Smile you son of a bitch!" has already been used. And let's be honest, you won't come up with anything better and you know it. You're line doesn't need to be the greatest ever though, you really just want to avoid something like "I think I crapped my pants!"

Some Ideas:
  • "Bite me!" - That's telling him!
  • "Anyone want sushi?" - Basic, but it works.
  • "I'll see you in hell!" - Kind of a classic, really. (This can also be used when paying for gas or rent)
  • "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore" - Perfect if you are Dick Nixon (or you're being removed from office). Less perfect for anyone else.
  • "All your base are belong to us, baby. All your base" - This works well if you spend a lot of time on the internet. Or are living in 2002.
  • "Adieu haleine de poisson!" - French is always kind of classy. Sounds better if your name is Jacques.
  • "A kangaroo melts like chocolate in my mouth!" - Maybe a bit too surreal, but I like the way you think!

Catch phrase secured, it's time to do the actual killing. Most likely, you will not have a good, traditional way to kill the beast. You'll have to use your noodle. Also, you'll need to be really, really, lucky. It's not everyday that you have an electrical line in the water, or that the shark has a SCUBA tank in it's mouth. Keep your wits about you. You'll figure something out. Remember, this is your story. You're the Hero. You get to survive.

Just remember, when it's time for the final Man vs Shark face off, make sure it's just you. Everyone else should be gone by then. You'd hate to make it this far to find out you aren't the Hero, you're just more Shark Food.

Of course, the best way to avoid being Shark Food is to stay on land. Though, it's still not altogether perfect. There is always the possibility of Land Sharks. As always, be wary of anyone at your door claiming to be a plumber, with flowers, who can't pronounce your name. It is not a dolphin. It is a potentially deadly Land Shark. A deadly Land Shark with candy. And, you life is worth more than a box of candy, isn't it? No? Oh...well, be careful anyways.

If I've learned anything from Jaws, it's that the person most prepared to kill the shark can easily become Shark Food, and the one to save the day is going to be the one who didn't even want to be there.

Ain't it the truth.


Nik! said...

It's not much of a comment, but this is mostly what I meant by splendidly candid. :)

Unknown said...

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that...

Nik! said...

It's merely an appreciation for the way in which you express yourself.

Unknown said...

You're very odd.

Unknown said...

Odd? I am not odd.

Unknown said...

Um. yes. yes you are. very odd.