In case anyone is wondering, I won't be leaving the house between 8 and 10 PM for the next week. And don't call me either.
It's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and I fucking love Shark Week. I love it so much that when my brother (who also loves Shark Week) called at 7:58 tonight to remind me that Shark Week started at 8:00, he was not surprised to learn I'd had it marked on my calendar for over a month. I love it despite the fact that I am absolutely terrified of sharks and frequently have nightmares about being eaten by them. I love Shark Week even though the good folks at Discovery insist upon kicking it off every damn year with a barely modified version of last year's same damn "World's Ten Deadliest Sharks" program, which I watched a while ago between calls to and from my brother to exchange snarky "up next. . .the hammerhead" and "ooh, do you think the tiger shark is number three?" comments.
See, we already know about the world's ten deadliest sharks, because they're the same damn world's ten deadliest sharks as last year, with the same damn interviews of the same damn dorky guy from the International Shark Attack File. And yet we keep watching.
Because sharks are fucking awesome! And because we're afraid they're gonna eat us!
Some of us, namely myself, are fairly obsessed with this possibility. At one point, our refrigerator at the beach was plastered with articles we'd clipped from newspapers and magazines about how to avoid shark attacks. These articles offered such ingenious tips as "don't swim in areas where sharks are known to congregate." Eventually, my mom got sick of these inane shark attack avoidance tips and took down everything except a list entitled "What Are The Odds?," which indicates that your odds of getting attacked by a shark (1 in 3,700,000) are much slimmer than your odds of, say, drowning in a bathtub (1 in 11,000) or of being killed by an intimate partner (1 in 1800).
People love to quote statistics like this, but these people are stupid. Because here's how statistics work: some crazy statistician takes the number of people in the world and divides it by the number of reported shark attacks or bathtub drownings or intimate partner killings to get an average that's supposed to comfort me -- a girl who rarely takes baths (showers, yes; baths, no), does not currently have an "intimate partner," and spends three months out of the year in the ocean. Where sharks live!
Sure, I could stay out of the ocean, but you're talking about a girl who loves swimming in the ocean so much she once described it as better than sex. To her boyfriend. And, ten years and several intimate partners later, she stands by that characterization.
Where were we? Oh yeah, Shark Week. Bonus points for anyone who can identify the world's deadliest shark featured above. My brother is automatically disqualified, as is anyone who guesses the Great White. Everyone knows the Great White is only the world's second deadliest shark, and that its attacks on humans are merely sad cases of mistaken identity that afterwards keep the Great White up nights. Poor little sharky.