Saturday, September 25, 2004

Calling Chief Brody

Just when I had convinced myself that it was perfectly safe to go bodysurfing along the chilly New England coast, my friends at share the news that a fifteen-foot Great White shark was spotted cruising the shallows around Martha's Vineyard. Yikes. Apparently the shark has gotten herself (the folks at Woods Hole determined that it's a female) stuck in one of the Vineyard's salt ponds; while she's busy finding her way back out, this real-life Jaws has become the island's main attraction, chased by local news helicopters and curious onlookers in their boats - thrillseekers who are stupid enough to get up in the grill of a Great White that hasn't eaten in days in skiffs that a fifteen-footer could capsize in a heartbeat.

The strange thing is that the more I see pictures and videos of the shark, the less I find myself terrified and the more I'm starting to feel sympathy for her. Whereas in Peter Benchley's Jaws an even larger shark was able to haunt the fictional Martha's Vineyard of Amity Beach without ever being spotted until it struck from the unknown depths, its real-life counterpart can't make the slightest move without a million eyes following it. The Woods Hole people even tagged her! How small and powerless such a creature seems now, when stalked by all the world...

Mind you, I'm still not going back into the water anytime soon!

No comments: