Several people in my life whom I would normally consider somewhat respectable have come to me in the past week - voices lowered - and informed me why the week of August 4 was so much more special than any other week.
"Shark Week," they murmured in hushed maniacal tones.
Yes, it's Shark Week, that time of year when America suddenly becomes whipped into a frenzy over mythological impossibly large sharks rising from their paleontological graves.
Shark Week first aired on the Discovery Channel on July 17, 1987,- just about one month after the birth of my Shark Week-obsessed sister. Which may explain her preoccupation, but that doesn't let the rest of America off the hook, pardon the expression.
And just what the heck is it about sharks, hmm? Aren't alligators equally terrifying water beasts? Sometimes just the thought of swimming by even a large fish underwater makes me want to pee my pants with fright.
But alligators and mutant catfish just aren't as sexy as sharks, are they. Comparing them is about as insulting as lumping Wolfman or Frankenstein along with that master of sexual prowess, Dracula.
Because isn't that what we're talking about here people? If Dracula is the sexpot of vampires, then the Great White is the Dracula of sharks. If America doesn't watch it, this preoccupation with unfeeling chomping machines will - just like any bad relationship - end in lost friends, lack of sleep and one late night drunk dial too many.
Have you read Devil in the White City? American Psycho? Silence of the Lambs? I digress. Obsession with powerful killers is old hat. If Discovery Channel really wants to tap into a ruthless, complex creature, the fruit bat is where it's at.
One word: "Megabat." Need I say more?
Check it out you frenzied American lunatics.
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