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I just returned from a week of sitting on the beach, watching, waiting for the great beast to emerge from the shallow whitecaps.



It sensed its one equal in terms of might, strength, and having a strikingly white belly that is curiously susceptible to burning in the sun’s sharp rays– me.

I never made it in the water past the tops of my feet, and that only occurred because I had gone on the offensive with a rod and hook, in a (failed) attempt to lure the monster from its murky hiding place.

There was one brief moment where I thought my foe had struck right under my nose, however.

In Ocean City on Friday, lifeguards called everyone out of the water. A crowd gathered. A human-shaped mass lie on the beach. The red Baywatch golf cart-looking thing arrived, carrying a bright orange stretcher. This was it. It had struck. The shark had attacked.

I quickly fastened a shiv from the rotted wood on my beach chair. I rubbed some sand and sunblock (SPF 15– no more, no less) together and smeared it ‘neath my eyes. Warpaint. Well, more like a gay pirate’s swashbuckling glitter, but there was no time to course-correct my decision. I sprinted over to the scene, ready to strike and avenge what was surely an unjust murder.

No blood. No screams. No shark.

It turns out a kid had been flipped by a wave and landed on his head. He wasn’t moving and they were concerned about his neck. But his mom, his guardian, smiled as she gave first responders information. I’m assuming the stretcher and ambulance, which took the boy away, were precautionary measures.

Lifeguards climbed back atop their perch. Beachgoers returned to the water. I slunked back to my (now broken) chair, forgetting about my fruity buccaneer appearance. I sat down, forlorn, and buried the shiv in the sand (like a treasure, I remember exactly it’s spot). I thought to myself, “Maybe the great monsters have retreated, fearful of what awaits near shore. No more human flesh to satisfy their beastly cravings This victory is mine.”


Literally, for sport– at a surfing competition:

That’s surfer Mick Fanning, being attacked by a shark, live on TV, during the J Bay Open in South Africa.

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Bring me my pirate paint. And the shiv. Gonna need the shiv, too.

H/T to my vigilant friends (@2Csikz), (@AlexFairview), (@valacyclovir), and (@Banditmax)