Everybody’s a Comedian When They Get Bit By a Shark

***We interrupt our regular Istanbul vacation recap posts to have yet another panic attack over an upcoming vacation that I’m certain will result in my death, or at the very least, a maiming.***

I knew something was up.

While perusing the search terms that had brought people to the Poe Log yesterday, I noticed something very, very odd – Jlo was not the top search term. Or even the second. No, the top 5 or 6 search terms were all variations of the term “Australian shark attacks.”

Turns out, Australian Poe-eating sharks are at it again, preparing for my upcoming visit to their fine sandy shores. According to the HuffingtonPost:

“An Australian man is recovering after becoming the country’s third shark attack victim this month.”

THIRD attack. In a month. That’s like, a 300% increase over the previous month. If my math is correct. And there’s no reason to think it is, historically speaking. And let’s not even get into the similar increase last year. We’re talking HUGE uptick overall.

“David Pickering, 26, was leading a group of snorkelers at Coral Bay in Western Australia this week when he was attacked by a 10-foot tiger shark, reported the Associated Press.”

Alright, I know we do not plan to snorkel in Western Australia. But take your logic and shove it because we do plan to go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and last time I checked, sharks are mobile.

“Pickering explained that as the shark bit his arm, he punched it with his free arm to escape. The man was able to warn his fellow snorkelers and swim 300 feet to shore before he was flown to Perth for treatment, according to AP.”

This guy is incredible! He’s like the Bear Grylls of Australia. Seriously, are we now expected to punch sharks with our “free arm?” Because I’m fairly certain my free arm is going to be flailing and flopping about in panic. I’m not sure I’m going to have the motor skills or mental wherewithal to punch anything. With my luck, I’d end up punching myself. And since I have weak noodle arms and a very hard head, I won’t even succeed in knocking myself out.

Bite him back, Bear.

And let’s just suppose I’m successful, then what? Am I going to take a page out of David Pickering’s book and warn my fellow snorkelers? I think not. Unless by warning, you mean screaming and using them as human shields.

He joked in the video about his harrowing escape, “The worst thing was that I couldn’t see if he was coming back for seconds.”

Listen David, I do not find this funny one single bit. Having said that, this is DEFINITELY the guy you want to guide your little snorkeling adventure. Look at how calm he’s being about this whole thing! He must be taking lessons from the Most Interesting Man in the World.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was a publicity stunt on the part of the tour operator. “Come snorkeling with Coral Bay Adventures/Comedy Troop. We take the shark bites so you don’t have to! We take a ‘bite’ out of the competition! Have a lark, see a shark (get punched in the snout by one of our guides.)”

A worker in Coral Bay told Perth Now that shark attacks in the area are uncommon. “We haven’t had an attack here in 10 or 15 years and it just happened out of the blue. Everyone is very shocked,” said Sunny Rayudu.

Really? Shark attacks are uncommon? Everyone is shocked? This just happened out of the blue? I think the evidence proves otherwise. Oh, and here.

If shark attacks are so uncommon, why do we have this old timey classical painting of a shark attack? (OK, said shark is also being counterattacked by people, but that’s not the point.)

Lemme just give you a little– admittedly paranoid– hypothetical thought to noodle on: The sharks are preparing for my visit. They don’t want to be all fat and slow and lazy sharks. They need some practice for the big scary upcoming Poe feast. They’re gearing up for the main event. This is not “out of the blue.” This is completely in the blue — it’s called training.

According to BBC News, Australia usually averages about three shark attacks per year, making 2012 an unusual year so far. The two other attacks this month both took place along Australia’s east coast.

Notice they said the other attacks were on the east coast. Close to the Great Barrier Reef. And reminder: we’re only TWO weeks into the new year and already it’s the bloodiest, most shark-infested year ever.

The first attack of the year, at North Avoca beach near Sydney, left a man escaping to shore covered in blood. But after reaching a local hospital, he was found to be in “satisfactory condition.”

Some would argue reaching a local hospital covered in blood is NOT “satisfactory condition.” I would be amongst those who argue such. Also: I’m quite shocked and offended by this local hospitals cavalier attitude towards loss of blood. I’m taking notes and I will not be visiting this fine establishment. They’re going to get a very bad Yelp review, I suspect.

Despite the apparent frequency of shark attacks, human attacks on sharks are far more common. A study by the University of Florida found that up to 70 million sharks are killed annually by fishing fleets.

Oh ruuuuuuhhhlly?? Poor sharks! Attacked by humans! Oh dear. Poor swimming killing machines! Whatever can we do to make the world better for you and your flesh-tearing teeth? Perhaps we should start a telethon for the sharkies?


Yeah, not buying it. You’ll get no sympathy from me, sharks. In the meantime, I’m signing up for boxing classes. I want to make sure that if I get bitten, I’m going to come out swinging. Also: I need to look into what kinds of foods make one un-tasty to sharks.

Looking into getting one of these made, but I’m not sure it will be ready in time. Or fit over my wet suit.

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