I know a lot of people have an irrational phobia to some degree, whether it is spiders, snakes, cherry tomatoes, carnies, etc. Mine is sharks. If you've known me for any substantial period of time you already know this about me. And I'm not just "kind of freaked out by them and would really not like to be in the same room as one," I am completely terrified. I don't go into the ocean. I don't swim in lakes. I avoid boat rides at all cost. I know better.
When I attempt to trace this phobia back to its root I'm not sure I can pinpoint why exactly I feel so strongly, but I think this might have something to do with it.
Before I saw the movie "Jaws" (ruined my life, by the way) I talked about seeing the movie "Jaws." I think I am strangely attracted to things that scare the crap out of me...it's like a game of chicken. And I always lose. Always. I like to see how tough I am and tell myself it's really not that scary, until I haven't slept in a week and look like death. In any event, during my talking-about-seeing-Jaws phase (I'm thinking I was about 8), I mistakenly ran it by my mother. Who told me I shouldn't see it.
Because there was a scene in which a little girl with dark curly hair (me) got eaten by a shark (holy crap)...
Through the toilet.
This is what I pictured everytime I tried to pee as a child.
Only the scene would be less cute and pink. (Spoiler alert, this actually doesn't happen in the movie, my mom was just being a total bitch.)
The fact that I could be eaten through a small opening such as a toilet meant only one thing:
Nothing was safe. I could be eaten, anywhere. At any time.
Because there was probably a pool shark.
And a water park shark.
And there was probably a shark waiting for me in my shower.
I even convinced myself that it was possible that a shark could come crashing through my wall and eat me in the middle of the night, because as far as I knew our house had been sucked down to the bottom of the ocean while I was sleeping.
I would like to report that as an adult I am no longer paralyzed by this fear, but that would be a dirty, dirty lie. When I was 23 I flew to Hawaii to celebrate graduating from college. All I could think about was the plane crashing into a giant pit of sharks.
Now I'd like to examine and outline for you why being eaten by a shark has to be the worst way to die.
I. Inability to reason with the animal that is devouring your body
- This doesn't really need a whole lot of bullet points, but there is literally nothing you could do. You cannot ask the giant shark to stop chewing on your torso. Because he will not listen. And he will eat you.
- I mean really? Does it get worse? I guess it does when this sentence becomes past tense and you have been eaten.
- Chances are if you are being eaten alive, you probably can't touch the bottom of the ocean. And if you can, well it's pretty damn useless at this point.
- And don't forget you're still being eaten alive.
- Drowning while being eaten alive? No thank you.
- And it's rushing quickly into your open, gaping wounds. (Um...ouch?)
- But it won't even matter I guess cause you'll be dead soon anyway.
- And you're being eaten alive.
- And you're still drowning.
- Also it's probably really, really cold water.
I'm pretty sure this is a real picture and that shark is about to own her. She obviously hasn't learned that you don't go into the ocean, ever. Because when you do, this is what happens.