With summer officially underway and The 4th of July Weekend here, people are set to begin flocking en masse to beaches in order to drink heavily, eat hotdogs, and soak up so much sun that they contract a mild case of melanoma. Around my neck of the woods, everybody can’t wait to “Head down The Cape” as we say, referencing a downward voyage to Massachusetts’ version of Florida: Cape Cod. The Cape is a magical place with transformative powers, and it transitions from the heroin infested wasteland that it usually is during the off-season, into a populated beach haven every Summer. The Cape acts as the perfect vacation spot for not only Massholes, but for people from all around the Northeast. Everybody knows somebody with a Cape House in Hyannis or Dennis or wherever, so as a Massachusetts resident, you’re guaranteed to make at least a trip or 2 down there every year.
Well I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news everybody, but I would suggest cancelling those vacation plans right now and just staying put. It turns out The Cape is no longer safe, and it’s not just the fentanyl that people have to fear anymore. In a shocking turn of events, it seems that the Atlantic Ocean that these Cape Cod beaches rest upon has become inhabited by a dangerous invasive species. That species is sharks.
I wish I was kidding, but unfortunately I’m not. I know that something as crazy as sharks living in the ocean sounds like nothing more than a scary story you would tell around a camp fire, but it has apparently transcended from urban legend to truth. Local news outlets have been diligently warning the public by posting headline after headline, making sure everybody is aware that sharks have been spotted in such an unorthodox place for them like the ocean. The situation is getting out of control, and I think it’s about time we catch all of these ocean sharks and put them back into the aquariums where they belong. I mean what’s next, bears living in the woods?
By now I’m sure you’ve caught onto my obvious sarcasm about all of this. This particular news fiasco happens every summer, and it never fails to make me laugh. Essentially, news stations go into overdrive pumping out stories about how a great white shark or 2 got spotted somewhat near the coast, and it stirs everybody into a panic. Here’s a great example
“Breaking: A shark got detected 5 miles off of Wellfleet!”. Who the fuck is swimming 5 miles out in the ocean? Yet somehow, it becomes front page news and people start sharing these articles on Facebook in shock. Quick, everybody lock your doors and windows and stay inside until the okay is given. There are sharks in the ocean!
Well, duh. Where did these people think that sharks lived? No exaggeration, they’ve been living there for millions of years, so I’m not sure seeing a dorsal fin every now and then is that strange. I know that people love a good “Jaws” fantasy, but sharks aren’t nearly as cool as the shark was in that movie. All real sharks do is eat seals and scare the shit out of people by popping their dorsal fin out of the in their spare time. Sounds kinda boring to me.
The headlines have been even heavier in volume this year because Cape Cod had a fatal shark attack last year, but it’s important to remember that it was the first such attack since the 1930’s. When you think about how many people swam at those beaches from 1930 to 2018, it shows how truly uncommon that type of thing is. As a gambling man, I’ll take those odds and bet that I won’t die at the beach. More people die every year from falling coconuts than they do from shark attacks (Dead serious about that by way).
Anybody that’s truly worried about sharks at the beach is freaking themselves out for no reason. As long as you decide to not be a hero and you don’t swim wicked far out into the ocean for no reason, you’re gonna be fine. Chest deep water is where it’s at anyway. You can still drink a beer, throw a football/frisbee around, body surf, and you don’t even have to actually swim. If you see a group of seals swimming around you and you can’t feel even feel the bottom, that should be your signal to turn around and swim back to shore before a great white bites you in half. Sorry to victim blame here, but at that point, you’re kinda asking for it.
I hate to sound like a mixture of Trump and the Mayor Of Amity in “Jaws”, but all this shark scare tactic stuff is a bunch of fake news. It’s 4th of July Weekend, and those beaches will be open, sharks or not. Just my 2 cents on the whole thing, and if I’m being honest, I’m more afraid of getting stuck in Cape traffic than I am getting attacked by a shark. If you gave me the choice between a great white shark biting my leg off and being hungover in my friend’s crowded car while stuck in standstill traffic on the Bourne Bridge, I’m taking my chances with Jaws 11 times out of 10 and it’s not even close. Have a great weekend everybody.
PS: With my luck, I’ll get attacked by a shark this weekend. Karma is a bitch